A Wild Black Bear Caught on Camera in Northeast Iowa [WATCH]
Things don't get too crazy in terms of wildlife here in Iowa. I can't tell you the number of miles I ran on dirt roads and in parks growing up, and the sheer lack of animals I saw was kind of disappointing now thinking back on it.
It was pretty typical Iowa creatures -- squirrels, rabbits, deer, robins, crows, garter snakes, etc. I've been on bike rides and runs where I'd see a fox or the occasional coyote, but that was about as exciting as it got.
Every now and then though, someone catches something crazy on a trail cam or on video, and Iowans everywhere go nuts. Just this week we shared a story about another mountain lion sighting in the Des Moines area, and people loved it.
This time around, the creature that was seen was a little bit bigger.
A video was shared with KWWL in Waterloo of a wild black bear eating out of a bird feeder outside a Dubuque home this morning. Check out the video the news station shared on its Facebook page from Jason Wirtz:
According to the Iowa DNR, though black bears are native to the Hawkeye State, "Iowa has been without a resident bear population for more than 100 years."
The site continues: "In the Iowa code, black bears are not listed as a species of wildlife found in Iowa because they were not present in the state when these laws were created, nor have they been since. This means the Iowa DNR does not have the legal authority to manage black bear populations through actions such as designating protection status or adding a limited hunting season if the population eventually support it in the future. Iowa is the only state among its Midwest neighbors where the state’s wildlife agency does not have regulatory authority to manage bear populations, which typically includes handling nuisance conflicts and conducting research."
If you encounter a black bear, Vince Evelsizer, furbearer and wetland wildlife research biologist with the Iowa DNR suggests the following:
If you encounter a bear, avoid running away. Instead, back away slowly and cautiously while facing it. Make noise so they know you’re there.
Evelsizer also suggested the website bearwise.org if you want to learn more about bear encounters.
Should the encounter escalate into an attack, the National Park Service adds these tips:
- DO NOT PLAY DEAD. Try to escape to a secure place such as a car or building. If escape is not possible, try to ﬁght back using any object available. Concentrate your kicks and blows on the bear's face and muzzle.
- Do NOT climb a tree. Both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees.
- Bear pepper spray can be an important thing to carry when exploring the back country. It is used defensively to stop an aggressive, charging, or attacking bear.