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Black Bear Sightings Continue

By Ellis Codjoe, September 13, 2017

A Black Bear has been spotted once again in Southeast Iowa.

According to a press release from the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office, a Black Bear was spotted Tuesday evening southeast of Montezuma. The sighting was confirmed by a sheriff deputy and a State Game Warden.

Numerous bear sighting have been reported since approximately April, 2017. Several sightings have been reported in a corridor from approximately Oskaloosa to Montezuma.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirms they have received multiple bear sightings in recent months including in Mahaska, Tama, Grundy, Poweshiek and Butler counties.

Black Bears are not common in Iowa. The DNR says Iowa does not have any breeding population of black bears, though neighboring states including Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri do have a breeding population.

Minnesota and Wisconsin have a combined estimated Black Bear population of around 42,000, according to information provided by the Iowa DNR.

Authorities say the bear roaming Southeast Iowa has shown no signs of aggressive behavior and is not a threat to the public at this time.

Deputies say you should keep your distance if you see the bear. If left alone, the bear is unlikely to interact with humans.

If you see the bear near your property or near a town authorities say you should contact the nearest law enforcement agency to report its location.

The Iowa State Game Warden can be contacted at 641-660-0741.

Photo: A Radio Iowa photograph of an earlier black bear sighting in northeast Iowa.

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