SPRINGERTON, ILLINOIS (WEHT)– Laci Laughard said she left her home in Springerton to go workout around 5:45 Monday morning.

She said while on the road, just outside of town, she found a sight she wasn’t expecting.

“It was just shocking you know. You sometimes see cougars and stuff like that, and that’s even shocking, but a bear that’s a whole different story,” Laughard said.

Laughard said it’s not typical to see bears in the area. However, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has reported bear sightings across southern Illinois in recent weeks. No confirmation on if this is the same bear or not. Laughard said her family will be taking precautionary measures for the time being.

“You’re kind of worried about your animals and your children and they come up in the yard or something and harm one of them,” Mark Wheeler, her step-father, said.

And they encourage others to do the same.

“Definitely be careful. I wouldn’t approach it, you know? Especially if it’s hungry or has little ones running around. You don’t want to be around a bear, that’s for sure. They get real aggressive,” Wheeler said.

Wildlife Illinois provides some tips for large animals like bears- and that can be found on their website.