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Black bear Spottings Continue in SE Iowa

By Ellis Codjoe, July 14, 2017

A Black Bear, apparently roaming parts of Southeast Iowa since at least April, has been spotted once again in Mahaska County.

The Mahaska County Sheriff’s office says in a press release that the bear was spotted in the morning hours on Wednesday, July 12th  in a soybean field north of Oskaloosa.

The most recent bear sighting occurred near the intersection of Highway 163 and 235th Street in rural Mahaska County.

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

If you see a black bear, or find sign such as tracks, you can contact your local Iowa DNR Wildlife or Law Enforcement Staff to report this animal’s presence. If the bear is causing conflicts with humans, livestock, pets, or bee hives then measures can be taken to deal with the situation. Human safety will always be the first concern, however respect for that animal receiving the attention from the public and how it is handled is also a primary concern.

**Photo from Northeast Iowa Courtesy Radio Iowa. **

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