VANDERBURG CO. – DNR biologists have confirmed a black bear sighting that occurred in northeast Vanderburgh County before sunrise Sunday morning. The closest town to the location is Elberfeld, in Warrick County.
Biologists confirmed the bear from photos taken by the landowner.
“This is Indiana’s fourth confirmed black bear,” said Brad Westrich, DNR mammalogist. “With expanding bear populations in neighboring states, this is expected. “Human-bear conflicts can be avoided if you remove or secure potential food sources from your yard. Bears can smell food from more than a mile away.”
Black bears are rarely aggressive toward humans.
If you see a black bear:
- Do not feed it.
- Observe it from a distance.
- Do not climb a tree.
- Advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms and backing slowly away.
- Report bear sightings to the Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife at https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wildlife/wildlife-resources/animals/report-a-mammal/.
Most problems that occur with bears arise when bears associate food sources with humans and lose their fear of people.
More guidelines for reducing or eliminating the potential for bear-human conflicts:
- Remove bird feeders and bird food if a bear is reported in your area.
- Clean and store away grills after use.
- Eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed.
- Pick ripe fruits and vegetables as soon as possible or place an electric fence around them to ensure bears cannot reach them.
- Consolidate beehives you may have and place an electric fence around them.
- Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.
- Don’t add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
- Don’t climb a tree if you encounter a bear; wait in a vehicle or building for the bear to leave the area.
More information on black bears is at https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wildlife/wildlife-resources/animals/black-bear/.