JESSAMINE CO., Ky. (WKYT) - Bear activity is on the rise across central Kentucky.
“It’s not pandemic related,” said John Hast with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
According to Hast, an uptick in bear sightings is actually pretty normal this time of year.
“We’ve got a really healthy bear population in our mountain counties,” Hast said. “As breeding happens, young males get bounced out and tend to pop up in places across the bluegrass.”
Hast thinks that’s exactly what happened to this guy, spotted in Jessamine County over the weekend:
“This looks like about a 2-year-old bear,” Hast said. “So, a young male, they typically get kicked out of the breeding range. The older bears want to fight and the female bears aren’t interested in them, so they go on these walkabouts.”
Many of these young males end up migrating to southern Jessamine and Fayette counties by following along the river.
The good news is black bears aren’t aggressive, in fact, they’re easily spooked.
“They want nothing to do with people, which is great,” Hast said. “Definitely don’t approach in any way, just give them their space and they’ll keep doing what they do.”
The best thing to do to avoid them altogether is to feed your pets indoors, throw food scraps in the garbage instead of the yard, remove bird feeders in the spring and summer when food is naturally available, and finally let nature take its course.
“When the acorns drop this fall, they’ll want to be in a naturally wooded area which is what eastern Kentucky has,” Hast said. “So, they tend to make a loop and end up where they started.”
To report a bear sighting in your area call the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife or 1-800-25-ALERT.
You can find more information on bears here.