Black bear sightings expand to heavily populated areas

By: Gabriel Roxas Email
By: Gabriel Roxas Email

A black bear has been sighted several times roaming throughout town in Mt. Vernon. Even police officers have seen it. Now everyone wants it found.

Ever since people in Rockcastle County began reporting black bear sightings, some folks have been getting nervous. "If we see a bear, and he's in our backyard, we're probably going to shoot it," Matthew Carte said. Carte lives right next to the city park in Mount Vernon close to where some reported seeing a bear wandering through the grass. "It's pretty dangerous especially with kids next door," Carte said, "I'm not going to just sit back and watch him go over to the park and maul a kid."

Fish & Wildlife officials say they expect to see a spike in bear sightings between late June and early July during breeding season, and they say when bears reach populated areas, it's usually because they're roaming extensively looking for breeding opportunities.

"We're not afraid," Tamria King said, "We come down here and play and have fun. King says despite the reports, she's not going to let fear keep her from taking her daughter to the park. "I'll keep her in my sight a little bit closer and keep her closer to me."

Experts point out that black bear attacks on humans are very rare. When Jordan Smith heard a report that a bear had just left his backyard, he didn't know what to think. "It was sort of exciting, but sort of scary at the same time," Smith said.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife says the best advice for people in the area is to avoid leaving out food or trash, and if you see a bear, keep your distance.

Fish and Wildlife officials say they plan to have investigators in Rockcastle County Tuesday to follow up on the sightings.


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  • by Anonymous Location: Mount Vernon on Jul 30, 2011 at 09:48 PM
    There is a great reason why our Kentucky ancestors ran these bears put a long time of go, so why put them back in. The whole bit "leave them alone, and they will leave you alone" is a bunch of nonsense. Been there done that, scariest night ever, never went camping again. Now they are bringing these things to our backyards. I have an orchid, and grow almost EVERYTYPE of berry. We have beef cattle who are have their calves this time, and horse that is not a spry as it used to be. Plus all my precious pets of my geese, chickens, dog, and cat. So can someone say to me that the bear will just graze on by, eat a few berries and move on, with so many easy prey in arms reach. Since no one else in the area seems to have the gusto to do so, that bear is good as gone if I ever see him.
  • by Jul Location: Winchester on Jul 15, 2011 at 07:29 AM
    Come and get the bear or bears out of my backyard. So, I wont have to defend myself or my children. Dont drop them off out here in the red river area, you guys reintroduced them to the area, it was in the paper and the librarian confirmed it, so stop denying it. Who will be accountable for human deaths as a result of this? Drop them off in your own yard if you want to watch them, just watch yourself when you get up in the morning to get your kids on the bus when its dark I have to unfortunately. Because they wont get the one out of my backyard. They track them, so they were dropped off. A few years ago they said there was one in the area and that they were tracking them. But, now they just ignore you. I have had bear poop piles in four spots in my yard and tracks. Am I suppose to tear down my berry bushes and nut bushes to the guy that says dont throw scraps or burn garbage. Where do you put it when you have no income? And I feed my chickens. Do you suggest I have no chickens or food in my yard growing in this economy. Why dont you support us then? Government taxes us to death so they can live large. How are we suppose to live. They want us to go the way of all the babies that are aborted in this country. They dont care about humans only animals.
  • by Julia Location: Winchester on Jul 15, 2011 at 07:11 AM
    Stop dropping off bears so they can kill us when they have babies. Is it ok to do partial birth abortion(killing Babies) like obama wants to continue? But, to protect yourself from a wild animal is bad. This whole country is screwed up. Im sure you guys wont print this cause your liberals and must support abortion, but dont support protection from wild animals. Maybe one will end up in your backyard and we'll see how you like it when they eat your berries and you surprise them and then they turn to eat you. What are you going to stop people from having berry bushes and stop them from growing nuts? Boy there are some real dummies out here. What else are we going to give government control over? Noone seems to care about humans around here. What kind of a parent would I be if I didnt protect my kids. Come and get the bears out of my back yard, and put them in yours so they can mess around your house. Maybe youll meet one out there in the morning when you go out to your car. They drop them off out here and dont want you to protect yourself. Come and get them, there around my house and noone calls, will it thrill you when it kills us. Wait until you meet God. You will be in trouble for allowing animals to murder more humans. Isnt partial birth abortion enough for you murderers? Shocked? Well Im sick and tired of your stupidity.
  • by Deana Location: Mt. Vernon on Jul 14, 2011 at 01:43 AM
    The bear was right in my yard too. No I don't want the bear hurt, but I also have children who are always outside. My daughter saw it first then we called 911. So yes I would like to see something done. But nothing to hurt it. Like the lady said we just have to keep a watch on our kids alot more while there outside.
  • by tim Location: williamsburg on Jul 13, 2011 at 08:48 PM
    The bear activity here has been going up as well.Several weeks ago my family and i were on the way home from church and I came close to hitting 1 here on the road.I stopped within 5ft of it.it just stopped and looked at us then turned and went back the way it came.The following day 1 was killed in corbin by animal control for breaking up a birthday party and there were reports of a bear being sighted near the water park here in williamsburg. So sightings have went up here as well.And I am a hunter and hadn't seen 1 in the 40 yrs ive hunted
  • by kygranny67 Location: lexington on Jul 13, 2011 at 03:34 PM
    maybe they are looking for their social security checks
  • by Fables Location: KY on Jul 13, 2011 at 12:48 PM
    Who started these lies about bears? We were told that they belonged in East KY.We were told that they migrated from VA and Tenn.We are told all the time that bears are afraid of humans,that they "shy" away from humans,despite the fact that they are more bears now and they break into people's homes,coming into their yards threatening people and other pets.So you say leave the bears alone,o.k.,we'll see how many bears leave people alone.Do you people really know what the word wild means?
  • by David Location: Georgetown on Jul 13, 2011 at 11:45 AM
    Since when did Mt Vernon become a heavily populated area?
  • by Jen Location: Mt. Vernon on Jul 13, 2011 at 01:26 AM
    Bears are not coming here. Bears were released in this county a few years ago, it was in the newspaper when they were released. Just leave them alone and they will go on their way.
  • by Jessica Location: Harlan on Jul 12, 2011 at 05:32 PM
    All of these crazed Meth heads running around loose scares me much more than any bear. They are much more of a threat to our children. Lets get them taken care of and leave the bears alone.
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