What to do if you encounter a bear


WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WDKY) – A black bear was recently spotted in a Whitley County neighborhood.

Early May, through June, is peak bear season across Kentucky. After hibernating in the winter they are more active than ever.

WDKY’s Ally Blake spoke with fish and wildlife on what to do if you see one in your backyard.

“Bear come out of their dens, they are hungry. Couple that with mating season, they are definitely on the move,” said John Hast.

Hast is the bear program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. He says Whitley County is smack in the middle of frequent Kentucky bear sightings.

Where people in Lexington are moving to most

“Lake Cumberland and Ashland. Maybe a little bit more north than that, basically everything on the east of that line is gonna have plenty of bears,” Hast said,

Even last summer, there was a bear found in downtown Lexington. So, it’s important to know what to do in situations when you see a bear.

“But number one, don’t approach them. Absolutely never feed them,” Hast said. “The old adage is a fed bear is a dead bear.”

By feeding the bear you can make them lose their fear of humans and that can lead to trouble.

“If they’re close or in the direction you need to go, make some noise,” Hast said.

Black bears found in Kentucky usually don’t like loud noises and will retreat to the woods.

“Majority of those reports center around bear getting into garbage,” Hast said. “So, that’s always something we remind people to be mindful of in the summer.”

It’s important during the summer to make sure your garbage is secure so a bear doesn’t get an easy meal and comes back to your home for more.

If you see a bear, it’s important to call the authorities and fish and wildlife.

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