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Bandera Courier
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2013-01-03

Bears reclaiming their creeks?

Feather Wilson

Black bears are slowly being driven into the Texas Hill Country due to drought and climate.
They are coming out of Mexico and portions of West Texas.
Black bears are a threatened species. That means you should not kill them. Call the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Kerrville and they will non-lethally remove your bear to the Big Bend National Park.
The early settlers of the Texas Hill Country killed all of the native black bears. Several old black bear skulls have been found in Edwards limestone rock shelters in Bandera County.
Black bears have been spotted in Bandera County over the past few years. One was spotted a few years ago near the Hill Country State Natural Area off FM 1077.
Black bears have been spotted in Kerr, Kendall, Bexar and Medina, Uvalde and Kinney Counties.
The black bear current occupied range is mainly across the Trans-Pecos portions of Texas along the counties that border Mexico.
Black bears are often as big and heavy as an adult male often weighing 200-300 pounds and standing 5-6 feet. Black bears are omnivores, meaning they eat berries and meat.
They are generally harmless to humans although if confronted or cornered they will fight and defend themselves or their cubs. They are attracted to garbage and have been known to wander into communities in search of trashcans.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, 12 black bears have been sighted across the western Texas Hill Country counties this past year. They are being driven out of Trans-Pecos and Mexico due to drought and wildfires.
Black bears are attracted to forested hill country areas where water, shelter and food are available. That describes much of the Texas Hill Country.
As the climate of Mexico and Trans-Pecos continues to dry out we can expect to spot additional black bears moving into the Texas Hill Country.