Bears are on the move as breeding season heats up
Published 4:33 pm Thursday, July 7, 2022
JACKSON — Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks said the summertime brings on increased activity in black bears. Last year, nearby Natchez had a week or two of bear sightings before one was captured and relocated in June.
Bear sightings are natural this time of year and should not be a concern. Mid-summer is breeding season for black bears and male bears roam larger areas than normal in search of suitable mates. Additionally, Cubs born the previous year are now 17-18 months old, and leave their mom in search of a new home range.
Females tend to stay close to where they were born, but males may wander up to 100 miles or more in search of a home range not already occupied by a resident male.
According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks, Black bears are typically secretive and not normally aggressive towards humans. Black bear attacks in general are very rare.
Humans can create dangerous situations by feeding the bears. Giving bears food allows them to associate humans with food, and it can cause them to demand food. The best thing for people to do with bears is leave them alone.
Black bears are protected in Louisiana and Mississippi so it is illegal to shoot or kill black bears. An animal which can be easily mistaken as a bear is a feral hog.