Bear Sightings Provoke Frenzy in Ogle County

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A black bear making its way through Illinois is turning into quite the celebrity, much to the chagrin of Ogle County and DNR officials.

    The bear was spotted between 6 and 7 a.m. Wednesday outside the Pine Crest nursing home in the village of Mount Morris, about 106 miles west of Chicago.

    Bear Climbs Tree in Ogle County

    [CHI] Bear Climbs Tree in Ogle County
    The elusive Illinois bear continues to make appearances throughout the state. On Wednesday, it was spotted in Mount Morris. (Published Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014)

    A later sighting was reported outside a home on Brayton Road, according to village president Dan Elsasser.

    Black Bear Spotted in Rockford

    Black Bear Spotted in Rockford
    A Rockford-area couple had an unexpected visitor come to their home Saturday. Regina Waldroup reports. (Published Sunday, Jun 8, 2014)

    The bear made its way up a tree a mile outside of town on Lowell Park Road, where police and DNR officials were trying to keep onlookers away.

    "People are stopping in the middle of the road, it's kind of crazy with people trying to get a look at the bear," Elsasser said.

    Rockford Area Couple Spots Bear Outside Home

    [CHI] Rockford Area Couple Spots Bear Outside Home
    Sheryl Hutchinson and her husband were eating breakfast when they spotted a black bear roaming in their yard. Regina Waldroup reports. (Published Sunday, Jun 8, 2014)

    "Even though this is kind of exciting for our small town, a bear is not a normal occurrence. Leave it be and let it head where it is going to go. It is a wild animal. If provoked, it could turn against us."

    Bear Spotted in Genoa and Sycamore

    [CHI] Bear Spotted in Genoa and Sycamore
    A bear spotted in a Rockford backyard Saturday was spotted again Wednesday. NBC 5's Natalie Martinez reports. (Published Thursday, Jun 12, 2014)

    The bear was first spotted June 7 in Rockford. A few days later it made its way toward DeKalb County before it was spotted in Ogle County last week.

    "So far it hasn't demonstrated any signs of aggressiveness. It's more afraid of people right now," Elsasser said. "We're not sure where it's planning to go to, but it wants to be left alone. It hasn't demonstrated any contact with humans or shown any aggressive traits."

    DNR officials say recent legislation protecting the animal, if signed by Gov. Quinn, won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2015, meaning decisions on the fate of the animals reside with local landowners or municipalities.

    Homeowners in the counties where the bear has been sighted are urged to remove their bird feeders, keep pet food inside, and secure trash cans and barbecue grills.