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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."



Deborah Logan (August 01, 2012) Reply

I think it is so sad that the bear was put down vs being relocated to an unpopulated area. It seems to me that this should not have been the first option, but the last possible option after all else had failed. We humans need to remember that animals have the right to live and eat too!

Connie (August 01, 2012) Reply

I agree with you whole heartedly!!!

JIMMIE (August 01, 2012) Reply

Did you ever stop to think that if you'd quit cutting out the forests the wildlife would have a place to live.. Not to mention whoever decided to kill the bear should be arrested for animal cruelty..

William (August 01, 2012) Reply

Why kill a bear that wasn't bothering anyone.All the bear was doing was looking for something to eat if you lived in the woods and there wasn't much to eat wouldn't you come out into a populated area to try to survive.So what does this mean if you are hungry and looking for something to eat you will be put down too.I agree whom ever killed that bear should be charged with animal cruelty last time I heard no one was above the law.

Yogi (August 01, 2012) Reply

I understand that you all are upset that the bear was put down. The truth is, is that this wasnt the first time this has happend for this particular bear. It has a tracking device on it and the Dept of Fish and Wildlife decided that it was a threat to humans. Folks, these bears can tear a person apart and are suprisingly fast. They were just protecting you and your family.

local (August 01, 2012) Reply

Its a shame to kill this bear but it was the right thing to do,, BUT why is it not ok for a land owner to do the same if a bear shows up at your home and it endangers your pet of livestock As soon as you do this and they find out you are off to jail

Smokey the Bear RIP (August 01, 2012) Reply

"This is not the first time this bear had lost its fear of people," Marraccini said. "That is unacceptable behavior."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. hmmmmm sounds like they can't get their story straight.. its not scared of humans but runs off when someone comes to capture it. True Bears can Kill you, so can smoking, drinking, swimming with sharks walking across the road, anything can kill you. Bears were around these parts of the woods long before us. I think that the KY Fish and Game should have to answer to this to the Gov. May you have trouble sleeping at night. KARMA SUCKS Remember that

Allan (August 02, 2012) Reply

If people insist on making comments, then why can't they at least act intelligent about it? No wonder the reast of the country thinks we're ignorant or inbred in Kentucky.

wildlife lover (August 02, 2012) Reply

As an outdoor lover, including animals & visiting hikers; I relate to emotional responses from Deborah, Yogi, and others. I reside 5 minutes drive from the Forest. I also know that when bears no longer fear us- they become 350-400 plus lbs. threats in the forest and our backyard. 2) Bears in TN are transplanted 100's of miles away in similar circumstances. They return within 3-4 days with the knowledge of where to find a feast. I have experienced them in Gatlinburg on the other side of the fence next to the pool & in the parking lot at 7 am in a dumpster near 30 or more children unaware. The forest service purchases more land every year to expand the habitat of our animal friends. But someone must do the killing to protect you and your children. Thanks.

Tom (August 02, 2012) Reply

The real issue is this -- This is just another example of big government 'taking care' of us. A few years ago, some environmentalist wacko's decided we needed to populate eastern KY with bears so they hauled a bunch in here and off we went. Dumb move. DUH! What do you expect? It is inevitable that we're going to see more and more of them. The real story will be when a bear attacks, mauls, and kills a kid. It will happen -- just a matter of time.

Brad (August 02, 2012) Reply

Insane, the dept of F&W stocked the bears to increase their numbers and when the obvious occures and a bear ventures into a nearby populated area, they murder the bear. The dept. of F&W had weeks of reports and plenty of time to prepare and tranquilize the animal. The poor bear could of easily been relocated, offered to a zoo or many options. This is criminal. I say dress the Dept of W&F like bears and relocate their ass' to the streets. What a sad excuses of wild life management we have.

Nikki Hensley (August 03, 2012) Reply

This bear was way too close to the hospital! Hopefully it didn't maul anybody or get inside! Thank god it didn't threaten nobody....I think it might because people is cutting down the forest and building homes and the bears have no place to take shelter and eat hopefully people stop cutting down forestes.

Sheila (August 04, 2012) Reply

Why could the bear not have been relocated to a refuge or somewhere very remote? It was just looking for food!!! This is why I hate living in Southeastern KY. Did the bear hurt anyone?! It tried to get away from people! I am ashamed of the officials in Corbin! The bear was tranquilized and there is absolutely no reason why it could not have been taken to a more remote location!

Yogi (August 05, 2012) Reply

Sheila, why are upset with the officials in Corbin. It was not put down by local police or animal control. It was put down by the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife which is a state agency. I am sorry and dont mean to be cold but I am really glad they done what they did.

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