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Rare Bear Sighting Becomes Talk of the Town

There were reported bear sightings in Owensboro and Daviess County just a few weeks ago. Wildlife officials say the same bear likely made quite an appearance Wednesday morning near Central City.
Witnesses say the bear made two different trips to eat out of a squirrel feeder.
Witnesses say the bear made two different trips to eat out of a squirrel feeder.
Wildlife officials say black bears tend to shy away from humans.
Wildlife officials say black bears tend to shy away from humans.

There were reported bear sightings in Owensboro and Daviess County just a few weeks ago. Wildlife officials say the same bear likely made quite an appearance Wednesday morning near Central City.  

***

Kolton Rice and his friends set out to see what seemingly everyone had heard about. It's what Jim Casebier couldn't believe.

"A black bear!' Casebier said. "A black bear! Believe it or not!"

It's this nearly 10 minutes of home video that would make even the most hard-hearted skeptic into a whole-hearted believer. The video shows a young male black bear, likely from Tennessee, feasting on corn kernels in the back yard of a Central City home. He's a long way from home and clearly took a wrong turn -- he is a male after all.

Meanwhile, Thomas Young from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is just as surprised as everyone else.

"Since I've been here, I've never received a positive bear identification," Young said. "This is the first one. A bear can range several miles in a given day. This bear is obviously not in it's element."

And he's looking for love in all the wrong places.

Young believes the young male bear is trying to find new territory and a new mate. Instead, he found another curious community just weeks after likely wandering into neighboring counties a few weeks ago.

 "We don't know if it's the same bear, we assume it is," Young said. "Black bears are docile, typically. They want to be away from humans. When I say docile, take it with a grain of salt. Use caution if you observe the animal, give it some space."

 Roughly 60-yards is plenty of space for Casebier. but for Rice and his friends, it's not nearly close enough.

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