FRANKFORT – Black bears are making a comeback. The species, which disappeared from Kentucky over a hundred years ago, is steadily becoming more prevalent in certain areas of the Bluegrass.
To help people learn how to cohabitate peacefully with these animals, the Salato Wildlife Center in Frankfort has created the “Be Bear Aware” exhibit.
“Black bears are making a natural comeback in Kentucky, and it’s very important for people to know how to live alongside these animals,” said Conservation Educator Geoff Roberts. “This exhibit illustrates what to do, and what not to do, when it comes to black bears in Kentucky.”
The exhibit includes information about bears, and features a 450-pound stuffed bear that came from Pike County. Visitors will also learn about the black bear’s population range within the state, as well as the role of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources plays in bear management.
Outside the center, visitors can see a live bear that is used as part of the center’s education efforts. To see the schedule of Bear Enrichment Trainings, click here.
Roberts said the migration of the bears will continue.
“Bears have always been a part of Kentucky’s native ecosystem,” he said. “And their return is a good thing for the state.”
He adds that there are some simple ways you can prevent any unwelcomed interactions with the bears.
“If bears begin to associate people with food, they will begin to lose their natural fear of humans and that’s when issues start,” he said. “Ninety percent of these nuisance issues can be eliminated if everyone would take care of their food, when camping or picnicking, and take care of their garbage.”
The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation funded the new exhibit.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources operates the Salato Wildlife Center as part of its goal of educating the public about the state’s native wildlife. The facility offers viewing opportunities for a variety of wildlife, including a bear, eagle, bobcats, deer, bison, birds of prey and more.
For more information about the Salato Wildlife Center, click here.