Nature and law enforcement officials are urging residents to not panic in regard to a black bear being spotted Saturday night in Lake County near Antioch.
Officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources do not want to drug or relocate the bear at this time, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
“We want (residents) to be educated about our visitors and act accordingly,” according to the Sheriff’s Department. “If a situation arises that the bear needs to be drugged or removed the department will work (the) federal U.S.D.A Wildlife Services to accomplish that task.”
Residents are encouraged to report bear sightings on the Wildlife Illinois website, www.wildlifeillinois.org/sightings/report.
If you do see a bear, the Sheriff’s Office advises:
- Do not run.
- Do not surprise the bear. Make noise to ensure that the bear is aware of your presence. A black bear is not likely to attack unless it feels trapped or provoked.
- Respect the bear’s space and do not approach the animal.
- If the bear sees you, stand your ground. Look as large as possible by standing straight and putting your arms up in the air and slowly back away.
- If possible, go inside a building or get into a vehicle.
- Should the bear show defensive behaviors such as swatting at the ground or surrounding vegetation, lunging toward you, vocalizing, blowing air out of its mouth or popping its jaw, slowly back away.
- If you have food, drop it and keep moving away from the bear.
- If a black bear makes contact with you, always try to fight it off.
- Do not play dead.
For information on black bears, go to www.wildlifeillinois.org/…/very../black-bear.
Lake County deputies were dispatched Saturday evening for a report of a loose black bear on the 21400 block of West Deer Ridge Lane near Antioch.