EVARTS, Ky. (WYMT) - State Wildlife Officials say the black bear population has grown throughout Kentucky during the last 25 years. Officials with the Evarts Police Department say they recently have been receiving more and more complaints.
Officer William Clogston has been working for the Evarts Police Department for two years and says he had never received a call for a bear complaint. However, he says he has received many of them during the last three weeks.
"We usually average about six complaints per night of these animals coming down and getting peoples' garbage. They're not bothering the people, they're just getting into the garbage," said Officer Clogston.
On Thursday at about 11 p.m., Brianna Scoville heard a loud noise while she was on her back porch.
"I came around the front, and looked down the street here about two houses down, and a large bear stepped out from the neighbor's trash and continued to walk down the street turning down everybody's trash," said Scoville.
Early Saturday morning, another person in Evarts saw one.
"All of a sudden I looked out the window and saw a big, black bear coming down the hill. just cruising just like he owned the place," said Vernon Bennett, who lives in Evarts.
Now officials are working to reduce these sightings, which they say are taking place across Evarts and even outside city limits. Officials with the Evarts Police Department are asking people to keep their trash indoors in sealed containers until pickup days.
"We're doing it just for keeping safety in mind. Also, just to help out Fish and Wildlife because they can't be everywhere at once just like we can't," said Officer Clogston
Fish and Wildlife officials say most conflicts between bears and people are caused when bears have access to food people have out.
Fish and Wildlife officials urge you not to feed bears. It is illegal and they say it teaches them bad behavior. They say to temporarily remove bird feeders if there have been bear sightings nearby, and only put enough pet food outside for one meal.
For all of the latest announcements by the Evarts Police Department, visit