The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is advising landowners in San Angelo, Junction, and the surrounding counties of a recent increase in black bear sightings.
The first of a flurry of sightings occurred about 20 miles west of Junction on IH 10 on Aug. 6.
This was followed by two sightings about 20 miles west of Menard on Highway 190 on Aug. 8, and then another on U.S. Highway 67 between Mertzon and Barnhart (about 30 miles southwest of San Angelo) on the Aug. 12.
“The drought and wildfires have caused bears to disperse in search of food into portions of the state where they have not been seen for some time,” said TPWD wildlife diversity biologist Jonah Evans, the department’s bear coordinator.
“Although all of the sightings have been of a relatively small bear, we cannot be certain that they are all of the same individual,” Evans said. “From the reports, it appears that the bear or bears exhibited a healthy fear of humans and is of very little danger to people.”