Bear sighting in Hardin Co, hundreds more in southeast KY

RAW: Black bear roams Glendale neighborhood

GLENDALE, KY (WAVE) - A bear in the backyard? It's not what folks in Hardin County expected to see Wednesday morning, but they did and caught it on camera! Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials say don't be surprised if more bears start to show up in the future in unexpected areas as hundreds more bears call another part of the state home.

The bear was originally spotted on Kentucky 222, the road that goes directly into Glendale and more than one person saw it roaming on nearby Mud Splash Road. The area is home to new subdivisions and older homes and has plenty of crops.

Greg Blackstone captured video of the bear Wednesday morning as he and his son picked up a load of firewood.

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"As we were turning the corner I saw something come out of the ditch and within a second or so a black bear came up on the road, crossed the road and then ran down along Mud Splash Road," he said.

The bear went behind a couple of homes and then headed into a cornfield.

Blackstone's wife, Delana Blackstone, said her husband seemed a little stunned and out of breath when he called her.

"He said, 'you're never going to believe what I just saw,'" she said, "I'm like 'what?'" Her husband responded, "A black bear."

Delana Blackstone was confused and said, "Where are you?" 

He was across the street from the Andover subdivision where Tommy Bryan lives.

Bryan said, "I was on my way out about 6 a.m. and saw what looked like a bear and I'm thinking 'did I second guess myself?'"

Bryan wasn't seeing things. Fish and Wildlife officials say bears have been spotted in Munfordville, Bardstown and Danville too.

"All the bears we have today basically moved in from Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee," Kentucky Fish and Wildlife's Bear Program Coordinator John Hast said.

Hast said there are two to three bears in the Hardin and Hart County areas, but a lot more in southeast Kentucky.

"Within 500 to 700 in our study areas," Hast explained of the bears, saying a four-year study of the state's bear population was almost complete.

"The main thing this time of year is young and middle aged black bears will get kicked out of the breeding range," Hast said.

He said once the bears are kicked off the breeding range the bears roam to other parts of the state in May, June and July. Then they head home before the fall. Most feed on plants and stay in the woods. Still, resident Helga Coogle is going to look out for her pets and her neighbors.

"Most of us do have cats outside," she said, "so not really being familiar with the behavior of bears, it's a little concerning."

Others like Bryan are thrilled about their new furry friends.

"It's kind of great and it's kind of exciting to see a bear," he said.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials say keep an eye out for pets and children, but as long as you don't bother them and keep pet food and people food inside, they won't bother you.

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