Residents spot black bear in Horn Lake

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - North Mississippi is home to numerous types of wildlife, but every so often, residents catch a glimpse of some out of the ordinary creatures.

"We've got raccoons. We've got opossum. We've seen fox," Horn Lake resident Jacki Gregory said. "I've had a turtle come strolling across to go to the lake."

On Sunday, Gregory crossed paths with a larger, more unusual mammal in her own backyard.

"Happened like that," she said. "And sure enough I had seen a little black bear running and it ran all the way back to the back of our property and disappeared into the next woods behind our property."

Gregory, who lives on Pecan Avenue, said she did not have her camera on hand, and regrets she was unable to capture a photograph of the animal.

Her neighbor, Anne Kelly, was hosting company at her house when the bear was in her neighborhood. She retreated to the privacy of a back room to take a phone call, and spotted the bear when she looked out her window.

"I screamed," Kelly said. "I knew it was something I had never seen before on this property."

She went on to say that the black bear was running quickly on all fours, and described it as being " a good size."

According to the Mississippi State Forestry service, black bears are shy and secretive. They tend to avoid human interaction and are usually nonaggressive. However, it is illegal to kill these animals. Doing so can result in a $100,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

Gregory said the next time she encounters a bear, she will be sure to keep her distance.

"I don't want no part of a bear," Gregory said. "As long as I know to stay in the house, I'm fine. This is their world."

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