(LEX 18) Wildlife experts want people to put away any food or trash outside of their homes to avoid contact with black bears.
"Even young bears, mama bears with cubs – they’re out and they’re all hungry," said John Hast, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Bear Program Coordinator.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife experts started getting calls about bear sightings in early April and just this week, one bear was spotted in Corbin and one in Bell County. Experts say that if you see one, don’t get too close.
"Don’t get out of the car. Don’t walk out of the house. Don’t ever approach a bear. That’s one of the key messages. If you think a bear is too close, let it know you’re there. Make some noise, look big," said Hast.
The best thing they suggest is to keep them away from homes and neighborhoods is put away any food or trash that’s outside.
"It can be anything from food scraps that you’re throwing out back, your garbage, bird feeders, pet food," said Hast.
Experts said if a bear does find food near your home, it will keep coming back and that is dangerous for people.
"Every bear we have to euthanize here in Kentucky has been habituated to receiving food from people. Typically the ones that require euthanasia have been hand fed by people," said Hast.
In Sevier County, Tennessee, three bears recently had to be euthanized because of people feeding them. Experts say when a bear is fed by people, they can get aggressive, so they have no option but to put them down.