Black bear in Central Illinois

Black bear in Central Illinois

by Kyla Hurt

There’s a black bear traveling in Illinois. The bear crossed into Illinois from Wisconsin on June 10 and is being watched closely by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Though they are asking that the public please leave the bear alone, many are very interested in the bear. WICS/WRSP staff had in their report: “We know many of you want to get a glimpse or picture of him yourselves, but please remember to stay off private property and not to crowd the bear,” wrote an IDNR official. “Giving him plenty of room helps keep him, our staff, officers and the public safe.”

The bear recently visited Pike County, according to the IDNR. Their staff and Conservation Police Officers helped the bear cross Interstate 72 outside of Barry the night of Sunday, June 28. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources believes the bear is presumably searching for a mate and food, and expects that he will return north when fall weather begins. They say to make sure not to crowd the bear as he travels.

Some locals did try to follow or find the bear, getting in their respective vehicles and going out friendly and non-hunting bear hunt. Most failed assuredly, but gave it their best. One was Heather Wardlow, along with Alli Peterson and Brittany Peterson. Wardlow posted a video of their trek on Facebook, along with the caption, “We are going to start our week laughing. Enjoy our adventure from last night. I am anxiously waiting a call from National Geographic because I feel like this is the kind of documentary people want to see. Enjoy Season One, The Pilot of Chronicles of The Bear, Peterlow Style. #blackbear #wheresbuddy #lookingforloveinallthewrongplaces”

Assuredly, there are more adventures of others to come. Please follow the guidelines laid out by the IDNR. The IDNR website states: If members of the public spot the bear, they’re encouraged to contact their local CPO or law enforcement agency. For additional information and safety tips, visit

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