Black bear sightings on the rise in Kentucky

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They’ve become a more common sight in recent weeks but they're also making some people nervous.

We’ve recently told you about a young bear spotted around Richmond and other bears have been seen around the Bluegrass as well.

Over the past few days, the phones at the Department of Fish and Wildlife have been ringing off the hook.

“Most of the calls we're receiving now are about sightings,” said Steven Dobey, the bear program coordinator at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Bear sightings have recently been reported from Floyd to Madison Counties.

Wildlife experts say bear activity increases during June and July because the bear's family units begin to break up.

“A lot of one-year-old bears are on their own for the first time and in conjunction with that we have the 2-3 year old males in their first breeding season. They’re roaming extensively looking for females.”

Bears are mostly in mountainous habitats with low human population but that's not always the case as exhibited by a bear recently spotted near businesses in Richmond.

“Richmond is just one of those places where the natural typography just kind of lends itself to bear movements.”

If you see a black bear, officials say you can scare it off with loud noises but there are some precautions you can take to prevent this potentially frightening brush with nature.

“If people have a bear that turns up in their neighborhood, there are typically three things that attract them: garbage, pet food and bird feeders. People need to be mindful of those three things.”

All-in-all, just make sure to keep your food to yourself in order to avoid having these unwanted guests over for dinner.

Wildlife experts say black bears typically avoid interaction with people and travel the most at night or in the early morning hours.