DNR says you should secure your trash bins after Pike Co. bear sighting

Photo of black bear spotted in June in Vanderburgh Co.
Photo of black bear spotted in June in Vanderburgh Co.(Source: Indiana Department of Natural Resources)
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 3:12 PM CDT
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PIKE CO., Ind. (WFIE) - It’s been a while since we’ve heard of any more bear sightings, but DNR officials say it’s likely still roaming around southern Indiana.

They say it was last seen getting into some garbage in Pike County on July 8.

[Previous: Indiana DNR: Black bear spotted in Vanderburgh Co.]

Officials say if trash or recycling containers are easily accessible, the bear could start to associate people’s homes with a place to find food.

They say people in Pike and surrounding counties should secure them.

“Seeking out easily accessible food is normal behavior for many wild animals,” said Brad Westrich, DNR mammologist. “Unfortunately, bears can become sick or even die when they eat items from our garbage.”

Westrich says that when bears discover food around people’s homes, they can damage personal property trying to get at it and begin to lose their natural fear of humans, which can put both in danger.

Some things you can do to help include:

• Store garbage cans and recycling containers inside a garage or shed.

• Put garbage cans and recycling containers on the curb the morning of pick-up rather than on the night before.

• Avoid putting meats, sweets, bones, or grease in compost piles.

• Remove or secure other potential food sources for bears, such as livestock feed or pet food.

Other potential food sources such as beehives, grills, and vegetable gardens can also attract bears.

If you see a bear, click here to report it.

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