Black bears are regularly seen in Whitley County, but within the last week several residents have reportedly encountered them just blocks away from downtown Corbin.
Lisa Walker, who lives on West Fifth Street near the intersection with Arnold Street, was able to snap a picture of what appeared to be a cub that had been running around the area for several days.
“Something had been getting in my garbage. I thought it was a raccoon,” Walker said. “I looked out the window Tuesday afternoon and saw a bear.”
Wednesday night, Chris Hart reported seeing what appeared to be an adult bear near his home in Scenic View Heights off of Seventh Street.
“It was a big bear,” Hart said explaining that he was sitting on his porch and had just gotten up when he looked out and saw the bear walking toward him and his wife.
“It is not something you expect to see,” Hart said.
Hart said when the bear saw him move, it didn’t appear to bother it.
“It just turned away and went back into the woods. It wasn’t in any hurry,” Hart said.
Hart said in the past, he and his wife have seen some out-of-the-ordinary wildlife near their home, including foxes and coyotes, but this is the first bear.
“Hopefully it has moved on,” Hart said.
Whitley County Constable Ron “Bubba” Bowling said bear sightings on the west side of Corbin and Whitley County are becoming more common as the bears migrate through the area in search of food.
“This is the time of year that they are migrating and exploring,” Bowling said noting there is a wooded ridge line that runs through Corbin near Baptist Health Corbin, Scuffletown Road and Scenic View Drive which offers the bears concealment and an easy pathway.
“It is like a highway for the bears,” Bowling said.
Bowling said if someone encounters a bear, the best thing to do is to go back inside if possible until the bear leaves.
“They are real curious. They will come after you.“ Bowling said. “When that happens, you first instinct is to run. If you do that, a bear will chase you.”