Two Bear Sightings Within a couple days in Pulaski County
August 28, 2012 Share

Two Bear Sightings Within a couple days in Pulaski County

It may have been the same bear. Maybe not.
Anyway, two bear sightings a few days apart in the same general area cause one to wonder if we’re seeing double or maybe the bear population is increasing.
A story in the Commonwealth Journal August 16 related a bear sighting by rural mail carrier Robin Daughetee on Elk View Road near Buck Creek between White Lily and Mt. Victory. Daughetee saw the bear about noon, Tuesday, July 31, while delivering mail.
Three nights earlier, about midnight on the previous Friday, Steve Molen, a Pulaski County deputy sheriff, saw a bear on Ky. 1003.
The bear Daughetee saw was eating garbage along the Elk View Road. The bear Molen spotted was walking along the treeline near where Ky. 1003 joins Ky. 1675. Both places are in a general area near the Dykes, Goodwater and Mt. Victory communities.
“I saw what looked like a black shadow,” said Molen. “I first thought it was a dog. Then I realized it was a bear … a big bear.”
Molen said he turned on the blue lights on his police cruiser and the bear scooted across the road and went in a gallop between a house and a barn into the woods.
A video camera on Molen’s cruiser captured the bear and the film was later shown on a Lexington television station. However, the video could not be handily converted into a photograph for the newspaper.  “I’ve been a deputy for seven years and that’s the first bear I’ve seen,” said Molen.
Alan Sidwell, of Sidwell Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation at Dahl, said there is a resident population of black bears in eastern Pulaski County between Shopville and the Rockcastle River.  “There’s not many … they’re scattered,” said Sidwell.
The North American black bear is the most common bear species. Dry weather this summer has hampered development of berries and bears are roaming in search of food.
Black bears typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food.
“This is when they become dangerous; when they are tamed by feeding,” said Sidwell. Wild bears are terrified of humans, he noted. 
Numerous bear sightings have been reported to this newspaper over the years. All, except two, have been generally received by the public with a sense of calm. The exceptions were polar bears – yes, polar bears. Both sightings of solid white bears were in populated areas on the eastern side of Somerset.
The polar bear reports several years ago were accepted with a grain of salt since no photographs were available to validate the sightings.