Bear first spotted last week appears to have moved 65 miles west

KELOLAND.com Original

Photos courtesy of Mike Scott

JAVA, S.D. (KELO)- A black bear was spotted about a mile south of Java, South Dakota on Tuesday morning.

Chris Van Camp was headed south out of town around 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. He was heading to a friend’s house when he spotted something unusual.

Van Camp spotted a black bear and shot the video below as the bear ran across a field.

Video courtesy of Mike Scott

“I wish I would’ve driven by a minute or two sooner! I might have been able to see it cross the road in front of me,” Van Camp said.

This is the second bear sighting in the last week as a bear was spotted west of Aberdeen on Tuesday, May 26. You can read that story below:

Bear sightings are very rare in South Dakota and the odds of this being a different bear are extremely low.

“It is highly likely that it is the same bear from the northeastern part of the state, although we have not been able to confirm that at this time,” SD Game, Fish and Parks Regional Supervisor Mike Klosowski said.

If this is the same black bear, that means the bear traveled an hour west or roughly 65 miles.

“It’s likely a young bear dispersing and finding its own way in life. Where he/she will end up is anyone’s guess,” Klosowski said.

As the bear continues to move west, it appears it is just looking for a new place to call home. That may take a while as Klosowski says that SD does not provide a great bear habitat.

“We suspect it will continue to move until it finds suitable bear habitat and other bears. The combination of those will be difficult to find anywhere in South Dakota,” Klosowski said.

Bear sightings are very rare as only a few bears have been seen over the past decade. The people who are lucky enough to see a bear, such as Van Camp, should do exactly what Van Camp did.

The GF&P is appreciative of the public’s help in documenting bears in South Dakota and where they are moving.

“We appreciate the public’s assistance in keeping an eye on this bear. Anyone seeing the bear should contact their local GF&P office to report the sighting,” Klosowski said.

If you do see a bear and need to contact the Game, Fish and Parks, you can do so by visiting the contact page on the SD GF&P website.

To read last week’s story that KELOLAND did with Klosowski about the first bear sighting, click on the link below. You can also read how the Game, Fish and Parks handle bear sightings in South Dakota.

Mike Scott was able to capture some photos of the bear last week, you can see those below.

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