Local black bear sightings increasing

A black bear toppled an orange trash can early Tuesday along Lillian Avenue off Tunnel Hill Road in Elizabethtown.

When he couldn’t quiet his dog Fluffy, Mike Kabel glanced outside early Tuesday morning to find out why the pet was so frantic.

That’s when he spotted a black bear rummaging through his trash can.

Kabel took some pictures of the visitor who apparently emerged from a cornfield across Lillian Avenue off Tunnel Hill Road. His road runs parallel to Interstate 65 a couple miles east of Elizabethtown.

The bear had ripped through trash bags apparently looking for breakfast.

“I was thinking about going out to pickup up the mess, but everytime I do, he comes back,” Kabel said.

Kabel, who is retired, said he planned to keep an eye out for the Red River sanitation truck to alert the driver of potential danger. He said he hoped the loud truck might scare the animal off.

Sgt. Thomas Blackwell of the Kentucky Depart­ment of Fish and Wildlife said it’s wise to stay clear of wild animals particularly large creatures such as a bear.

“Keep your distance, it’s not a pet,” Blackwell said. “More than likely it’s a young male kicked out of his home range in eastern Kentucky. Basically, enjoy the view. They are not aggressive.”

Blackwell, who covers Har­din and some neighbor­ing counties, said bear sightings have been picking up. He has probably taken 10 calls within the last month.

Based on photos and videos he has seen, Blackwell suspects it may be the same bear.

He suggests keeping garbage lids closed, pet food put away and warns residents not to feed the bear.

“Once you become friends with one, they’re fearless,” he said.

Ben Sheroan can be reached at 270-505-1764 or bsheroan@thenewsenterprise.com. Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1757 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.

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