An expert at the Iowa DNR says bears from other states will eventually make Iowa their home.
Wildlife research biologist Vince Evelsizer says bears have strictly been tourists dropping in now and then for a visit from Minnesota and Wisconsin — but conditions are right for bears to settle down here.
There have been 43 confirmed black bears in Iowa since 2002 – and two to five black bears each year since 2014. Evelsizer says they start showing up in late spring and into July when they are mating – and those sightings are likely to increase.
He says bears were hunted to extinction here in Iowa. In Wisconsin, the black bear population is estimated at close to 30-thousand, Minnesota has around 15-thousand, and Missouri around one-thousand black bears. And Evelsizer says those states have found ways to deal with the animals.
As a biologist, Evelsizer likes seeing a species that was once prominent return to the state.
Evelsizer says if spot a black bear, you can let the DNR know – it will help them keep track of and monitor bears in our state. Photos or video of the animal is helpful too.
story courtesy of Radio Iowa