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Bear Sightings Reported in Caldwell County

Perhaps not the sight you want to see when you come home: A black bear.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Perhaps not the sight you want to see when you come home: A black bear.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources officials say they have received several reports of bear sightings in western Kentucky over the past week.

In a recent news release, state biologists confirmed reports of bear tracks in Princeton last Monday, a bear sighting near Dixon on Wednesday and a sighting in Princeton on Saturday.

Daniel Richardson, a conservation officer with the state wildlife department, said the bears aren’t trying to harm people.

“Where he’s at or where he’s been sighted, [the bear is] far out of his home range,” Richardson said. “He’s trying to find a spot for him to live, and it’s not going to be around here. He’ll eventually make his way back to the mountains.”

Kentucky’s bear population is typically limited to eastern Kentucky, but Richardson says younger bears sometimes wander west in the early summer.

Richardson said mature male bears push smaller ones out of their typical ranges this time of year to encourage them to find their own place to relocate.

Bears may wander for several weeks or more in pursuit of a good habitat and prospective mates before returning to the mountains.

Richardson said sending out news releases allows the state to properly inform Kentuckians who may regularly see false reports on social media.

“Sometimes, the bear pictures and black panther pictures or mountain lion pictures, they get passed around all over the country,” Richardson said. “This is just a way for us to verify for people. Yeah, this stuff you’re seeing on social media the last few days is accurate.”

In case of a bear encounter, Richardson recommends walking away slowly and going indoors if possible.

For more information, visit the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources website.

Dustin Wilcox is a television production student at Murray State University. He graduated from Hopkinsville High School in 2019.
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