Zookeeper not surprised by multiple Mid-South bear sightings - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Zookeeper not surprised by multiple Mid-South bear sightings

The bear was first spotted weeks ago in Alabama. There were also reports of the bear showing up in Alcorn County, Mississippi and Fayette County, Tennessee. The bear was first spotted weeks ago in Alabama. There were also reports of the bear showing up in Alcorn County, Mississippi and Fayette County, Tennessee.

(WMC-TV) - With the search for a Mid-South black bear in full swing, Amy Schacht at the Memphis Zoo said it's not a surprise the bear has shown up in so many different locations.

"It's probably just looking for a place to claim as its home," Schacht said Tuesday. "They like large forests."

The bear was first spotted weeks ago in Alabama. There were also reports of the bear showing up in Alcorn County, Mississippi and Fayette County, Tennessee.

The bear was even seen eating a strawberry cake that someone threw out.

"The black bears do like sweet things, so it's not surprising that it would go after the cake," Schacht said.

The bear was most recently sighted in Lakeland in Shelby County eating dog food out of a resident's yard.

According to Schacht, black bears are typically found in the United States and Canada.  They can get as big as 500 pounds, and can live up to 30 years.

"The male will pretty much live in about an 8 mile to 15 mile radius, so they don't usually travel very far from home," she said.

While black bears are sometimes attracted to areas where people live, Schacht had advice on what you need to do if you happen to stumble across one.

"If it does start coming toward you, if you have food with you, make sure you set it down," she said. "You need to back away, slowly facing the bear."

It's illegal to shoot black bears in Tennessee. If you see a black bear you can call the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency at 1-800-372-3928.

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