Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What Do You Say to a Back-Yard Bear?

Kudos to Richmond, Kentucky police for having the right attitude toward a new visitor to town.

Jim Warren at the Herald:

A black bear is playing hide-and-go-seek with Richmond police.

The bear initially was sighted Sunday night wandering through back yards on the north side of Richmond, and residents reported seeing it again around 8 a.m. Monday, Assistant Police Chief Robert Mott said.


"You can imagine that when people wake up and see a bear out in the yard, they start calling in," he said. "Everybody thinks it's a big deal, but you have to remember that we have the Daniel Boone National Forest just south of us here."

A search for the bear Sunday night ended when it ran off into some woods. Mott said he hopes that if officers continue to confront the bear, it will move on to less populated areas. 
 "They're not interested in hurting anybody, so once you kind of confront them, they will run off," he said.
No one has shot one of the bears. Yet.

According to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Bears in Town

As bear numbers increase, so may the occurrence of black bears in towns or local municipalities. These situations generate serious public safety concerns, however, when viewers encroach upon bears and leave no obvious path of escape. Help prevent safety concerns by following these guidelines.    
  • Do not approach a bear in town.    
  • Bears will almost always find an escape route if they are left alone.     
  • Shout and throw sticks or rocks in the vicinity of bear to encourage flight once an escape route has been established.     
  • Females with cubs will often climb a tree to for escape cover; never surround a tree holding any bear, especially a female with cubs!    
  • Locate and remove the lure that caused the bear to come into town.
There is almost always a safe escape route when bears enter towns. Crowd control is the initial concern as the behavior of a cornered bear can be unpredictable. Immediately report to the KDFWR any sightings of bears within areas of human population centers..

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