Confirmed bear spotted in Murray, Ky.

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Wednesday 08 December 2059 88945 Shares

Earlier this week, some residents on Coles Campground Rd. spotted what appeared to be an adult bear walking through their yards, visiting bird feeders and garbage cans. Ky fish and wildlife officers also located the bear on game cameras in the area walking Around.

For one resident, a Tuesday night encounter was a bit too close for comfort.

Martha Hammer said she was walking through her home around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, when motion illuminated by the spotlight in her back yard caught her eye.

“I thought, ‘Oh gosh, it’s a raccoon,’” Hammer said.

But as she approached the windows of her sunroom, she had a startling realization: “That was no raccoon.”

A large bear, believed to be an adult, had approached her house, most likely to inspect some bird feeders.

“He was walking behind the house, against the windows — between the shrubbery and the window of the living room,” Hammer said. “He was pressed against the glass, because I could see the fur and his pink skin. I just panicked and started backing away from the window.”

With a wooded area nearby, Hammer and other residents of the neighborhood are not far from a walking trail are accustomed to seeing wildlife.

Deer are sometimes spotted in groups of a dozen or more, while wild turkeys are also known to scratch around in the same area.

But, a trend of missing and destroyed bird feeders indicates at least one larger animal has also been foraging nearby.

“I’ve had three bird feeders that were gone,” Hammer said. “The last one, I found it up the fence row and it was chewed. We knew it was a large animal, because when it took the bird feeder the shepherd’s hook was bent. We knew we had an animal of some sort, but we didn’t know what it was.”

IT HAPPENS
As startling as it may be to spot a bear inside town limits, past history suggests it’s not uncommon for the animals to wander into areas dominated by humans in the spring and summer months.



In 2014, a small black bear was first reported in Murray, crossing Hwy 68:80 access near Mikes Cycle World before moving on to Marrowbone and area streets and making its way down the highway causing major havoc for drivers.


In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, rangers estimate a bear population of 1,500.


The state agency does have some tips for areas with a high bear population, like East Tennessee.

•Never feed wild animals
-Never leave food on Grills after a cookout
-Always report sitings as soon as seen
-Never walk alone at night in wooded areas
-If in presence of a bear, don't act scared. It frightens the animal and it becomes defensive.

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