There's a black bear on the loose near the Vanderburgh/Warrick County line in Indiana.

Last week, we told you about sightings and reports of a black bear across Southern Illinois. There's no word yet if it is the same bear, or multiple bears roaming the area, but the sightings have gotten closer and closer to Indiana. On Tuesday, I talked with Sarah Haley, of Centerville in White County, Illinois who spotted a black bear in her backyard.

Well, it seems like this bear has made its way across the Wabash River and into Indiana. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources confirmed yesterday that a black bear was located in northeast Vanderburgh County before sunrise. This was near the Vanderburgh/Warrick County line. This means that the closest town to the bear's last confirmed location is Elberfeld, in Warrick County. I spend a little bit of time in that area, and honestly, it makes sense for the bear to find its way there.

As you know, Bluegrass Fish and Wildlife Area is near Elberfeld. It is a great source of food and water for a lot of wildlife. Perhaps the bear has moved into that area. That's pure speculation, but it would make sense. There have been no further sightings of the bear in Warrick or Vanderburgh Counties at the time of this writing. My hope is that it stays near Bluegrass and doesn't make its way to my hometown of Boonville. I don't know how I would feel about waking up to a bear in my backyard.

However, in the event that this bear does show up in your area, Indiana DNR has offered a few tips that you should know about ahead of time:

If you see a black bear:
  •  Do not feed it.
  • Observe it from a distance.
  • Do not climb a tree.
  • Advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms and backing slowly away.
In the event that you spot this black bear in the area, you are asked to report the sighting to the Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife. You can do so by clicking here.

You can find out more about this bear sighting and other tips on reducing or eliminating the potential for bear-human conflicts by clicking here.

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