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DNR asks residents to secure garbage after black bear spotted in southern Indiana

DNR said the last confirmed report of the bear in southern Indiana was on July 8.
Credit: Indiana DNR
A black bear was spotted earlier this month in southern Indiana.

PIKE COUNTY, Ind. — People in southern Indiana are being asked to secure their trash cans after reports of a black bear eating garbage.  

The Department of Natural Resources said the last confirmed report of the bear in Pike County was on July 8.  

The DNR said bears can travel up to 20 miles a day.

“Seeking out easily accessible food is normal behavior for many wild animals,” said Brad Westrich, DNR mammologist. “Unfortunately, bears can become sick or even die when they eat items from our garbage.”

Westrich said that when bears discover food around homes, they can damage property trying to get at it and begin to lose their natural fear of humans. DNR must then implement a technique called aversive conditioning to correct this behavior.

To protect the bear and personal property, residents of Pike and surrounding counties should secure garbage cans and other people-generated outdoor food sources.

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