FRANKLIN, La. (KLFY) – A Franklin woman is warning nearby residents of black bears she’s sighted in her neighborhood. Not only has she seen the bear, but she’s also captured footage of it on her security camera system.
While bears digging in garbage cans isn’t necessarily anything new to residents of Iberia and St. Mary Parishes, Franklin resident Tawanna King said the bear has been roaming the rest of the neighborhood, as well.
“I was stuck in my car last night because it was across the street when I pulled up,” she said. “And my son was coming home when the bear was by my door. Too dangerous for me.” King said she and her family are afraid.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) declined to comment specifically on her case, instead referring KLFY to resources on their website. LDWF’s site states that there has never been a recorded case of bears attacking humans in Louisiana. If confronted with a bear, you are encouraged to “display dominance” to scare the bear away. This includes standing tall and raising your arms to appear larger. Also, throw non-food items at the bear or grab a large stick. Shouting and loud talking are also advised.
It is recommneded that you not flee from the bear or attempt to “play dead.” Keep food smells to a minimum in your outdoor trash can by rinsing containers before throwing them away. Securing your trashcans so that bears cannot get into them can also convince bears not to stick around your neighborhood. It’s also illegal to feed black bears in Louisiana.
Other Facebook users reported other rumors of bears around the Jeanerette area, though Iberia Parish Sheriff’s representatives said they haven’t received specific complaints about bears in recent weeks. (UPDATE: One resident from Grand Marais sent in footage of a black bear in a covered parking area.)
For more information, contact the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at (337) 948-0255. To report nuisance bears, call 1-800-442-2511.