Bear Spottings Could Be Increasing

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

The recent string of nice weather is a big change from earlier this month when we saw a long cold snap throughout southeastern Kentucky.

Experts say that cold snap damaged many of the things that black bears eat.

That means bears could be making their presence known throughout eastern Kentucky as they look for other things to eat.

Randy Cross says it's not unusual to see bears walk right through his apartment complex in Cumberland.

Wildlife experts say this could something seen more often this year after many of the fruit bearing trees bears feed off of were damaged.

“Animals that depend upon these things aren't going to have that large amount of food as they would normally,” Rick Fuller said.

Rick Fuller manages Kingdom Come State Park where he says bears are spotted all the time.

He says since bears go for the easiest sources of food and if they can't find it in nature they could come close to homes.

“They may want to come down more into homes to get into garbage and things like that,” Fuller said.

But Fuller says he thinks the problem will be much worse in places like the Smoky Mountains, where the bears compete for food much more than in southeastern Kentucky.

“I don't see any problem right now, but the easier for an animal to find the food the better they like it,” Fuller said.

Residents at the Poplar Village apartments in Cumberland say even the barbwire fences around the dumpsters don't stop bears looking for their next meal.

Experts say to avoid tempting bears that you should make garbage outside your home as inaccessible as possible, don't leave pet food outside, and avoid bird feeders.


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