Ivy Hill saw a family of newcomers on Tuesday, but they were quickly run out of the neighborhood. A mama black bear and her three cubs were returned to the woods after a family dog ran them up a tree.
Harlan City Police Officer Derrick Noe said they received a call at 10:23 a.m. from a resident stating there were bears about.
“We got a call this morning, a lady said a bear was trying to attack her dog on Ivy Hill,” said Noe. “When we got there, I talked to the lady and she said it ran down the hill.”
Noe said he and Officer George Young went down the hill looking for the bears.
“Up in a tree — about 30 to 40 feet — there was a mama bear and three cubs,” said Noe. “We blocked off the roadway around it and called the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.”
Noe said once Tristan Curry, the wildlife technician from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources arrived, they kept the area quiet in order to allow the bears to calm down.
“Once the mama bear felt safe, she came down, then she got her cubs down,” said Noe. “Once the cubs and the mama bear were out of the tree, the bear tech used cracker shells to run them back into the woods.”
Noe explained that “cracker shells” are basically loud bottle rocket type rounds that are designed to deliver a loud noise and scare animals away without harming the animal.
According to Noe, the dog and the mama bear had a bit of a standoff, but neither attacked. The dog retreated back to his owner’s house at which time the mama bear followed her cubs up into the tree.
Noe said the bear was showing signs of irritation at himself and Young before Fish and Wildlife showed up.
“It wasn’t growling at us, but it was snapping at us,” said Noe. “We just backed up and gave her room.”
There were no injuries caused by the incident, but Noe did state a mama bear with her cubs can be a dangerous situation.
Anybody who comes in contact with bears or other potentially dangerous wildlife should contact authorities immediately.
Joe P. Asher may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 1161 or on Twitter @joe_hde