Black Bear Sightings Becoming More Frequent in Kentucky

They're used to seeing all kinds of wildlife near their homes, but some people in Jackson County say one animal is getting too close for comfort.

Several people in the Sand Gap community reported seeing a black bear in last week.

And you might not think that dry weather and the sighting of black bears have anything in common, but some officials say dry conditions are driving the bears from their normal habitat.

Steven Dobey of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife says black bears can move as much as 10 to 20 miles a day, especially if they are in search of food. Normally the bears are found down along the Kentucky and Tennessee border, but lately they have been coming out of these woods and into the Sand Gap community.

Dobey says it's also mating season, so the bears aren't only looking for food, but other female bears.

"The main thing people need to realize is that there is plenty of food out there," Dobey says, "and they don't need to be fed, they are extremely tolerable of people, and they hang around neighborhoods especially if there is access to food."

Officials say people have also spotted black bears recently in both Adair and McCreary Counties.

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