Black Bear spotted roaming the streets of Vicksburg - - Jackson, MS

Black Bear spotted roaming the streets of Vicksburg

Source: Eric Paymon Source: Eric Paymon
Source: Eric Paymon Source: Eric Paymon

When many people think of black bears, they think of them living in the wild and only roaming around forested areas that are less densely populated with humans.

Some folks in Vicksburg got a surprise when a bear was found out and about near Mission 66 and Main Street.

“It's a little unusual when it was walking through basically downtown, not right downtown, but crossing streets,” said Black bear biologist Richard Rummel.

Rummel is a black bear biologist with the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. He said in the 1960's there were fewer than 10 black bears in the state. Now thanks to more protection laws and increased habitat areas that number has increased to 150.

“They are starting to move to the central part of the state," said Rummel. "Several years ago, we had one in Clinton area and we also had reports in the rural Hinds County.”

Rummel said sightings are not unusual around May, June and even July because bears are usually on hunt for food and it's breeding season.

“The males are out wandering around looking for a female and they kind of a have one thing on their minds,” added Rummel.

Some Mississippians told us what they would do if they spotted a bear.

“Just not panic and try to see if I can shoo it away,” said one resident.

You would have to be cautious, but I hope I never see one or be close enough to wonder what I would do,” said another resident.

Rummel's tips for preventing a bear attack; don't approach, harass and please don't feed this big guy.

It is also against the law to shoot or kill the endangered species.

“We need to learn to live with them. Just let the bear go on his way,” said Rummel.

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