Fish and Wildlife talks bears after sighting at UK

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/UK Public Affairs) – University of Kentucky Police shared a video with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources of a bear near the Kentucky Clinic. The video was taken by a UK employee in the early hours of July 1, and the employee sent it to UK Police.

The sighting resulted in the news release below from the department in Frankfort:

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The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is aware of a bear spotted early Wednesday morning on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington. The department was notified after the initial report came to university police.

In recent weeks, department biologists have been tracking reported sightings of one or more bears in Central Kentucky, including rural Fayette and Jessamine counties.

The department is monitoring reports from the public and law enforcement agencies. Any sightings of this bear should be immediately reported either to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife by calling 1-800-858-1549 during business hours, or to local law enforcement.

It is not unusual in the early summer for young male bears to wander outside of the established bear range in Eastern Kentucky.

These bears get pushed out of the area by older, dominant males, and may wander up to several weeks or more into unfamiliar territory in search of good habitat and prospective mates, before they return to the mountains where they were raised.

Black bears have a natural fear of people and adverse encounters with people are extremely rare. However, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife advises the public to never approach or feed a bear, which can result in a negative encounter.

If you ever encounter a bear, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife urges you to keep a safe distance and never approach the bear. Residents of an area where a bear has been spotted should secure their garbage in a garage or other building, not leave pet food or bird feed outside and clean and store barbecue grills.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife maintains an extensive amount of information about black bears on its website. Go online to http://fw.ky.gov and search under the key words “black bear” or go to www.bearwise.org.