Did you hear about this? Just before 5:30 p.m last Thursday Afternoon, Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a report of a BEAR sighting in Center Point. A Woman had called authorities after she heard her dogs barking, and subsequently looked out to see a black bear in her back yard! Check out the video which was shot HERE

Eventually, authorities called off searching for the bear because they believe the bear was just "passing through and will move on if left alone." Sounds like they've dealt with bear sightings up there before. Are they really that common? The answer is YES!

According to biologists at the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the number of reported bear sightings in Alabama DOUBLED from 2014 to 2015, and then increased ANOTHER 50 percent in 2016, with about 150 sightings reported to the department last year. And those are just the REPORTED sightings. Many times they're not being reported because the bear sightings are becoming more frequent, according to wildlife experts.

Fortunately, there are no reports of a bear attacking a person in Alabama, according to The ADCNR. However, even though it's still considered rare, there is a very good possibility that black bears may have set foot in Tuscaloosa County on more than one occasion.

So, what should you do if you ever encounter a bear? Check out these tips that the ADCNR has on their Website:

  • Do not be frightened.
  • Do not approach the animal.
  • Do not run from the bear; back away slowly.
  • Stand tall and upright and make loud noises.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with the bear.
  • Make sure the bear has an unobstructed direction to escape.
  • Never purposely feed a bear.
  • Never approach a bear with cubs; this will provoke an attack.

 

For more on this story read HERE