What to do if you spot a black bear

NORTH ALABAMA (WHNT) — Don’t run, don’t look at them in the eye, and don’t feed them — that’s the guidance on what to do if you spot a black bear in the wild, according to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).

Black bears are increasingly rare in Alabama, with their presence mostly relegated to the Lookout Mountain areas of DeKalb and Cherokee counties and Talladega National Forest.

ADCNR says the population found in the northeast corner of the state have “established a small, but viable population in that region.”

With that uptick in bears migrating to the area, sightings and encounters with humans naturally become more common. ADCNR provided tips to avoid interactions between people and the bears who may wander onto their property.

If you follow all those tips and still find yourself in the presence of a black bear, ADCNR has tips for what to do in that scenario too.

“The future of Alabama’s black bears lies with its citizens,” ADCNR wrote on its website. “It is the responsibility of Alabamians to take proactive measures to avoid creating situations that could encourage bears to become habituated to humans.”