Black bear spotted in Cass County, wildlife experts hope population continues to rise

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CASS COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – The growing black bear population in Oklahoma is migrating south to the ArkLaTex, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife experts.

Officials said that bears tend to stay in wooded areas, but sometimes do venture out. 

Karah Bradshaw heard on the radio Saturday that a black bear was spotted in Cass County. 

“So we loaded up and went to where we heard there was gonna be a bear and sure enough, there was a bear,” said Bradshaw.

So, she pulled out her phone and started recording. They found the bear on a county road and notified officials. 

“When we pulled over, he saw us and just shot out into the woods,” said Bradshaw.

Texas Game Warden Matt Hill said that’s the reaction he expects from those animals. He said bears are typically shy. 

“For the most part, they’re gonna run away when they see you,” said Hill.

He said if you see one, just back away and leave it alone. So far, they’ve been seen primarily in wooded or rural areas. None inside city limits. 

“We want bears around here,” said Hill. “We don’t want people to be afraid of the bears, but we want people to have a good respect for the bears.”

As a protected species, it is prohibited to hunt bears in Texas. Penalties include up to $10,000 in fines, jail time and loss of hunting rights. 

“Enjoy that we have bears in this area,” said Hill. “A lot of people have to travel to Alaska or other places to see these neat animals and we’re excited to have them.”

Parks and Wildlife officials said they hope the bear population here will flourish, leading to more sightings in the future. 

Officials said no injuries to humans or animals have been reported resulting from the recent bear sightings in our area. 

If you see a bear, call Texas Parks and Wildlife at 1-800-972-1112. 

There are also bear safety resources here

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