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WATCH: Bear spotted in Lydia

Bear expert provides tips on safety
Posted: 4:54 PM, Nov 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-23 17:59:21-05

As the weather starts to get cooler, there could be an increase in bear sightings locally as the population prepares for the annual hibernation period.

This was the case when Lydia resident Paul Soileau of Lydia sent KATC a video of what he saw roaming around his property.

In the video, a black bear can be seen walking next to the carport of Soileau's home, next to two parked vehicles.

We reached out to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries bear expert Maria Davidson, who said that while bears aren't denning yet, the time for that is getting close.

She explained that bears are still at a heightened metabolic rate, and if they're not eating, they're thinking of eating. Bears try to eat around 20,000 calories this time of year, with a diet made up of acorns, pecans, etc.

Bears try to reach upland areas where pecan trees are located, so if you have a high-producing pecan tree, it is likely you'll see a bear.

According to bearwise.org, the southeast region of the United States is home to more than 70,000 black bears, with Louisiana being home to an estimated 500-800 bears.

Davidson said Iberia and St. Mary Parishes should be especially cautious.

Proper precautions include securing anything a bear could find to eat at your house, like pet food, cooking grease, trash, scraps, and bird feeders.

Find more tips on bear safety by visiting bearwise.org.