The strangest thing I've seen wander onto my property has been a racoon--two of them, in fact. Since there's nothing unusual about racoons in the country, I'll take it.

But folks in south central Kentucky are dealing with creatures I'm assuming they never thought they'd HAVE to deal with. Seriously, what are black bears doing so far away from the mountains of eastern Kentucky? And am I wrong to assume we should only expect to SEE them in the mountains? A bear expert I am not.

Black Bears in KY Are Increasingly Common Sights

Which brings me to experts who CAN shed legitimate light on these recent "black bear out of water" occurrences.

Can you imagine checking your Ring camera and seeing a bear casually scampering across your yard like he's a neighborhood dog?

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I guess mountains are NOT required for the presence of bears. And John Hast from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources suggests that these bears might not even be native Kentuckians. Middle Tennessee has an exploding black bear population, and it wouldn't take much travel to walk across the state line.

Kentucky's Black Bear History

KDFWR tells us that black bears, the most abundant of the world's eight bear species, have been a fact of Kentucky life since they returned in the 1980s. Their history here actually dates back to the early 1900s before they disappeared for several decades.

But they are back, and 2024 really isn't the first time black bears--seemingly out of pocket--have made headlines. This happened last year in Metcalfe County:

Black bears gallivanting about the Commonwealth will always be news, but let's face it...they're here. And they must like it; they keep telling their friends.

[SOURCE: WBKO-Bowling Green]

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