Bear killed on U.S. 23

Aaron K. Nelson anelson@civitasmedia.com

June 3, 2014

PRESTONSBURG — The flow of traffic through the southbound lanes of U.S. 23 near Mann Toyota was interrupted Tuesday morning, when a passing motorist struck and killed a black bear.

Officers from the Prestonsburg Police Department and officials from the Kentucky Highway District 12 arrived quickly to haul the bear off the road and onto the shoulder. Mark Harless, a representative from Kentucky’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, was on the scene soon after to remove the remains from the roadside.

Harless confirmed it was an American black bear, and estimated it to be at two or three years of age.

With the weather warming up and their mating season just beginning, bear sightings have been on the rise lately. As urban sprawl continues to encroach on forest land, bears, raccoons and other wildlife will increasingly venture out of the wild in search of food.

Being omnivores, bears will eat just about anything, and have a real knack for finding food. Washington-based Western Wildlife Outreach says bears have a sense of smell seven times greater than that of a dog. Wildlife officials caution that you should not leave food in your car or unattended outdoors, and always dispose of your trash in sealed bags inside cans with tight-fitting lids.