Black bear sighting confirmed in Hopkins County

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HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) – Another bear sighting has been confirmed in western Kentucky, according to State Fish & Wildlife officials. 

The latest spotting happened on Wednesday in the small town of Charleston in far southwestern Hopkins County. 

“I thought there was a deer running across my yard and I got up to look at the deer and when I got up to look at the deer, I saw a bear coming down,” said a Charleston homeowner. “He was pretty close within 10 feet of my porch.” 

The man who caught multiple images of the bear did not want to be identified, but he says he has lived in Charleston for 30 years and has never seen anything like it. 

“I didn’t see anything to be a reason to be afraid of that bear,” the homeowner said. “I would’ve come out on the porch but I’m afraid if I did, I would’ve run him off and I wanted to watch him to see what he would do.”

The homeowner says he stayed on his property for at least five minutes. The bear was last seen in the area sometime Wednesday afternoon.

The Charleston Volunteer Fire Department is now urging nearby residents to take precautions in the area. 

“The main thing I have been telling everybody is just if you’re outside, pay a little bit closer attention to what’s around you,: said Chalresotn Assistant Fire Chief Pam Ahlert. “Especially if you’re hiking in the woods or closer to the wooded area because it could be out there somewhere.”

Officials say it’s not uncommon for young bears to leave eastern parts of Kentucky and roam for miles. 

Fish & Wildlife officials say this was a black bear and likely the same one spotted recently in nearby counties. Officials are urging the public to keep their distance if they spot the bear. 

This is one of a few Tri-State bear sightings this summer.

About a week ago, bear tracks were seen in southern Henderson County with a bear seen in Dixon about one day later.

A bear was also seen in Indiana. At the end of June, a bear was spotted in Elberfeld.

For those in Charleston, many questions remain like what may happen to the bear.

“I did hear from a KSP officer that they were going to try and maybe tranquilize (the bear) and move it somewhere else to get it away from the houses,” Ahlert said. “I don’t know if they have located it yet or not.” 

Hungry bears roam in the state in search of food which has Wildlife officials asking everyone to keep pet food and trash in a secured location. 

You can learn more about wild bear safety by clicking here.

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