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IDNR monitoring bear sightings – The Shoppers Weekly


Wildlife biologists and conservation police from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) are monitoring reports of black bear sightings in Lake County. Should anyone see a bear, IDNR encourages them to report it online at https://bit.ly/IDNRwildlifereport. IDNR further recommends that people who live in the vicinity of a confirmed bear sighting secure their garbage cans and barbecue grills indoors and stop feeding birds for a few days.

In the event of a bear encounter:

Do not run.

Do not surprise the bear. Make noise to ensure it’s aware of your presence. A black bear is not likely to attack a person unless it feels trapped or provoked.

Respect the bear’s space, and do not approach the animal.

If the bear sees you, stand your ground; look as large as possible by standing up straight and putting your arms up in the air and slowly back away.

If possible, go inside a building or get into a vehicle. Black bears display two types of behavior—defensive and offensive.

A bear may swat at the ground or surrounding vegetation, lunge toward you, vocalize, blow air out of its mouth, or pop its jaws. These defensive behaviors are used to warn you to move away. Slowly back away from the bear.

With offensive behavior, the bear will move toward you quickly. If you have food with you, drop the food, and keep moving away from the bear.

If a black bear makes contact with you, always try to fight it off. Do not play dead.

For more information about black bears, visit IDNR’s Wildlife Illinois page at https://bit.ly/IDNRblackbearinfo or The Association of State Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ BearWise page at https://bearwise.org.

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