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Black bear spotted near Custer

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 6:42 PM MDT
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CUSTER, S.D. (KEVN) - A black bear was spotted near a country road just outside of Custer.

The Sheriff’s office was contacted about the sighting close to the intersection of the Hazelrodt Cutoff and Sidney Park Road around 11:30 AM.

Photos snapped by the deputies show the bear sitting peacefully in the trees.

Although black bears can appear gentle, and are not aggressive most of the time, Game, Fish, and Parks regional terrestrial resource supervisor Trenton Haffley said that they can still be a nuisance.

“The bears that we have in the Black Hills have never exhibited and aggressive behavior,” Haffley said. “They do occasionally get into a garbage can or a bird feeder and make a little bit of a mess. But we’ve never had an instance where bears cause any sort of confrontation.”

Though sightings are rare, GF&P officials say there are some tips to be followed if you encounter one.

Haffley said that carefully find the quickest way out of the situation.

“Try and make yourself appear big and make loud noises,” Haffley said. “Bears usually know you’re there, they can hear you and they can smell really well. However, their eyesight is a little suspect. So, if they’re in a situation where they can’t smell or hear you, just make noise and make sure they know you’re there. 9 times out of 10, that bear’s going to turn around and walk away.”

Officials say to keep an eye on your pets if a bear may be nearby. For more information, visit bearwise.org.

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