Black bear encounters expected to rise

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky officials expect black bear encounters to increase this year in eastern Kentucky.

There were nearly 600 documented black bear sightings last year in eastern Kentucky. Pike County resident Jack Compton says a black bear went through his yard some time ago. Now he keeps his garbage in a secure bin, as officials recommend.

Wildlife biologist Jayson Plaxico of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says it's hard for bears to find much natural food early in spring. Plaxico says the way to remove the bear is to remove the food. And never feed a bear, which is illegal in Kentucky.

If you encounter a bear, don't run away, but move calmly. Or make your presence known by standing tall with your arms raised, yelling at the bear.

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