Couch said the bear had been coming to the back porch of her parents’ house, which is located in Saul on Highway 484, and eating for about a week when she decided to call the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to bring out a trap to catch the animal.
She said, “I’m not going to trust a wild animal. It had been here every night for a week.”
Fish and Wildlife set the trap up in front of the home and in order to get the bear to go around where the trap was Couch said she set a flashing camera around back, where it had been eating, so that it would scare the bear around front to the trap because flashes of light scare bears.
“The flashing camera made him go around front where the trap was,” Couch said.
The trap was set up at 11 p.m. and the bear was caught around 3:30 a.m. Friday which is when he normally came to eat. Couch said they planned to do a release on Pine Mountain and that seeing bears at their home was not a new occurrence.
“We have seen bears here before, but this was the first bear that took up residency. I told Fish and Game that it’s not paying rent and I’m evicting it,” she said.
The bear was also creating problems and making a mess as Couch said that it was tearing things up and it had destroyed the onions and potatoes in her garden.
According to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife web site, black bears used to be found all over the state 100 years ago but began to disappear due to habitat destruction, the disappearance of the American chestnut, and harassment from humans. However, these animals are beginning to once again naturally recolonize the state.
In order to keep bears away from one’s home the web site says not to feed them or leave food and scraps laying out at night because this gives bears the impression that the area is an easy location to find food, which makes them come back for more.
When one sees a bear they should remain calm and stay away from the animal, but never try to run from it because according to the American Bear Association, they can run up to 35 MPH, which is faster than a human can run. The web site also suggests that you talk to the bear to make it aware that you are human and to make yourself look bigger by raising and waiving your arms and make it leave by clapping and throwing something at it while giving it a clear escape route. Bears are naturally afraid of humans but can become violent when they feel threatened.