What an interesting time for Jackson County. First, the alligator, and last week a black bear. A young male black bear was found in a tree at an east Newport residence. The flooding has become a problem for displaced wildlife, often driving them toward town, in search of food and territory. This time of year, young male black bears are sent out by the mother to find his way in life. The young males have to look for territory and food.

            The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission was very helpful when asked about the potential for more bears. Public Information Coordinator Randy Zellers gave a few suggestions about how to deal with the young black bears. “Arkansas black bears are not aggressive. They tend to not like people,” he states. According to the Arkansas Game and Fish website, people may be tempted to “rescue” displaced wildlife or provide food for them, but that can be a recipe for disaster.

It is important to let the bear know that he is not welcome. That includes removing any food source, such as outside pet food, garbage cans, bird seed and even corn for deer. As long as there is a food source, the bear will remain. The longer the bear stays, it will begin to view the area with ownership and become aggressive.

If a bear or other wildlife remain on the property, call 1-800-482-9262.