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BLACK BEAR SIGHTED IN FENTRESS COUNTY

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Yesterday, a motorist traveling on Highway 127 near Roanoke Road between Jamestown and Clarkrange observed a black bear near the road. (photo taken by Taylor Elmore) Black bear sightings have been numerous in the past week in the listening area. Two were reported in Overton County and another two in Cumberland County off Peavine Road and Genesis Road, north of I-40. If you see a black bear in your yard, don’t fear the worst. A youngster may simply be passing through in search of a home of his own. Or an adult may be checking out an enticing smell or interesting sound. Usually when the bear finds out there are people in the area, it will leave.

If you do encounter a bear, remain calm and remember the bear is likely more scared of you than you are of him. Attacks by black bears on people are very rare and most black bears may be easily scared away with the following approach:

Stand and face the bear directly. Never run away from or approach him.

  • Make yourself look as big as possible by spreading your arms or, better yet, a coat.
  • Make as much noise as possible by yelling, banging pots and pans or using other noise-making devices.
  • If the bear approaches and you have bear spray, spray the bear as he approaches.
  • In the rare case a black bear does attack you, fight back (don’t play dead).
  • After the bear leaves, remove whatever attracted him to the location (barbecue grill, bird feeder, pet food or garbage).

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