Posted: Oct 13, 2011 6:14 PM by Maddie Garrett
Updated: Oct 13, 2011 6:48 PM
There's a new neighbor in Lydia, just outside New Iberia, and it's 300 lb black bear. Several residents on Coulee Road said they've actually seen the bear, and they definitely know when it's paid a visit to their house.
They get into garbage cans, hang out in car ports and tend to cause a little mischief in the neighborhood.
"Totally black with brown, dark brown nose and paws, beautiful creature," said Darlene Carpenter who lives on Coulee Road.
Carpenter said she's noticed bears around her home for several years now, and recently one right in her backyard.
"Before I got to the end of the driveway the bear was already across the street and he was looking at me," said Carpenter.
But Darlene's not alone, many people said they've seen traces of the bear, particularly on trash day.
"When the garbages are out the next morning, all the garbages are on their sides and the garbage is all over," said Susan Hebert, who also lives on Coulee Road.
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Wildlife Biologist Michael Drewry has been tracking this 300 lb male for two months now. He explained the bear's causing more trouble this time of year because it's almost winter and that means scarcer food.
"And so the bear is trying to bulk up for that time period where he just can't get as much, so they're real active trying to get in the garbage, get as many calories as they can," said Drewry.
Drewry said he doesn't normally like to trap bears because that doesn't always fix the problem. Instead he said it's up to residents to be more proactive.
"They need to take up bird food, they need to take in the dog food at night, they need to lock their trash down. And that's the only way we're going to keep the bears from coming in," said Drewry.
Just a reminder, it is illegal to shoot black bears in Louisiana. Drewry said because this particular bear has been more of a nuisance he has used traps to try and remove the bear, but so far has been unsuccessful.