ODWC: First black bear ever spotted in Oklahoma County

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OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Black bears are common in Southeast Oklahoma and the panhandle, but for the first time ever the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation says it has a confirmed sighting of a black bear in Oklahoma County.   

“Generally speaking, the Southeast population has been moving west and north,” Micah Holmes with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation told News 4. “This is probably one of those bears that’s moving and looking to expand the territory.”

Holmes says they have been moving west, but so far to his knowledge this is the first bear to make it to Oklahoma County.  He was caught by several trail cameras snacking at corn feeders.  

“Young black bears tend to travel long distances looking for food, habitat, for mates,” Holmes said. “They are often expelled from their home territory by older bigger males.”

The bear was spotted as far west as Luther, but seems to be heading east along the turnpike. 

Wildlife says they can confirm the same bear was spotted on cameras in Chandler and Depew. 

“No idea where this bear was headed, but it appears to be the same bear,” Holmes said.  “It appears to be heading in a generally east direction.”

Holmes says if you live in these area you don’t need to worry. Bears usually do their best to avoid being around people.  

“While it may be a new thing for some of us, as these bears expand territories, it’s nothing to be concerned about,” Holmes said. “It’s just another thing that makes Oklahoma a great state to live in.”

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