Elberfeld residents capitalize on bear sightings

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ELBERFELD, Ind. (WEHT) – With a population of roughly 700, the town of Elberfeld had a special visitor this week.

Reported sightings of a male black bear started just this past weekend, but he has already become somewhat of a town mascot. His fame even landing him some t-shirts and koozies which are now for sale.

The bear’s popularity has also spread across social media. Gibson County News & Talk started “Teddy Track,” a map tracking the bear for those interested in his whereabouts.

The bear also tracking down something of his own.

“Somebody posted about their beehive had been knocked over and about twenty pounds of honey and comb had been eaten out of it. So that’s when I decided to check on my bees and see if my hives were OK, and that’s when I found the scat beside one of my beehives,” said Ray Rentchler, a local beekeeper.

So while he may be a bit too close for comfort for some, residents said they’re having fun with it.

“Everybody’s like joking around about the bear being around here. Everybody’s making a big joke about the whole thing,” said Darlene Oeth.

There have been other sightings in Southern Illinois, but there is no confirmation that those sightings are of the same bear seen near Elberfeld.

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