EVANSVILLE, Ill. – The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed a reported black bear sighting that occurred over the weekend near Evansville.
A resident called sheriff’s deputies at 8:30 p.m. Saturday to report seeing a bear. Authorities eventually verified the claim.
The sheriff’s office is encouraging people not to approach the bear if they come into contact with the animal. People are also being asked to secure their trash bins, since bears are known to occasionally rummage for food.
According to online resource Bear Wise, bear sightings in June are usually one of three scenarios: bear yearlings leaving the den to go out on their own, bear mothers with their new cubs, or adult bears searching for a mate.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has been made aware of the bear sighting. Should you encounter a bear in the wild, you are advised to make yourself appear as large as possible (standing straight, raising your arms) and back away slowly. If you have food with you, leave it behind. If a bear decides to attack you, do not play dead; you must fight or flee.
Illinoisans can report a bear or other carnivore sighting online with the department of natural resources.