Officials forced to kill black bear captured in Corbin
A 240-pound black bear that has been trolling around Corbin for more than a week was caught by fish and wildlife officers Monday night near Baptist Regional Medical Center and then put down.
According to Mike Marraccini, a spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, officials had been tracking the adult male bear through the radio collar around its neck.
"The bear was found about 11 p.m. in a wooded lot where it had been hanging around for a few days," Marraccini said. "There was a dumpster nearby."
Fish and wildlife used a tranquilizer dart to stop the bear. From there, the bear was taken away and eventually euthanized.
"This is not the first time this bear had lost its fear of people," Marraccini said. "That is unacceptable behavior."
Marraccini went on to explain that the bear, which had made its way to Corbin from McCreary County, had come to associate the presence of people with easy access to food.
Corbin Police Major Rob Jones, the department's public affairs officer, said the department had received at least 15 different calls from residents who had sited the bear.
"He was getting into trashcans and dumpsters from BRMC to Ravenwood and 7th Street and over at Valley View Apartments," Jones said. "He would just turn over the trash cans and go nuts."
James Partin of Corbin said he saw the bear Friday night near the intersection of 5th Street and Scuffletown Road.
"He came out into the middle of the road near the interstate bridge and I had to stop," Partin said. "He stood there for a minute and then he took of an rand then dove into the high weeds."
Corbin Police responded to the calls they received from individuals who sited the bear, but Jones said when officers arrived the bear would get spooked and run off.
Despite the multiple sightings, Jones said there were no reports that the bear threatened anyone.
While this particular bear problem has been resolved, the U.S. Forest Service has closed Holly Bay Campground because of another bear.
According to Kimberly Morgan, a spokesperson for the forest service, the bear approached a group of campers Saturday and then opened one of their coolers in search of food.
Biologists with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife have been called in to help capture the bear and another one that approached visitors at Great Meadows Campground in McCreary County.
Both campgrounds will remain closed until the bears are captured or officials determine the bears have moved to another area.
"Bears are coming to campgrounds because their numbers in Kentucky are naturally increasing, and because they are hungry," said Steven Dobey, a bear biologist with the Ky. Department of Fish and Wildlife. "They're simply looking for food in areas where people are not accustomed to seeing bears."
In addition to the danger the bear may pose to humans or pets, Marraccini said this can be life threatening for the bear as witnessed by the situation in Corbin.
"Unfortunately, that is a typical ending to a story like this," Marraccini said. "The bear starts seeing people as an easy source of food. They like an easy meal and once they make that association, they lose their fear of people."
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