Possible bear sighting: Noxubee County Sheriff’s Office warns residents

NOXUBEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – According to a recent warning on the Noxubee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, residents should exercise caution due to a recent bear sighting in the Sandyland area.

Bear sightings in our viewing area are not common, but they have happened.

“I didn’t believe it. No, not in Noxubee County. We don’t have bears here,” Noxubee County Chief Deputy Dontevis Smith said.

Smith said a resident was walking along a trail and spotted a bear and a baby cub.

“Of course, they called us, but we don’t handle wildlife, so we contacted wildlife and fisheries and got that call situated,” Smith said.

While speaking with Smith, he heard a noise and went over to investigate, and then… BOOM!

“What I was hearing was multiple steps. I fired the round to actually scare the animal away. However, after I fired that round, I still heard the same steps,” Smith said.

Smith advised that if anyone comes in contact with the bear, they should slowly walk away and not run. If the bear comes close, they should try to make themselves look bigger and make a lot of noise.

“Lastly, if the bear attacks, you fight,” Smith said.

For animal owners who keep their pets outdoors, it is important to make sure they are in a secure location and not left outside unattended. This will help prevent any potential encounters with the bear.

“Keep food away from your house. If you are lazy, take your trash to the road. At this point of time that is what everyone needs to be doing,” Smith said.

The main thing to keep in mind is to keep your eyes and ears open. Be aware of your surroundings while you are outside and keep an eye out for potential wildlife in the area.

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