- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

MADISON, Ind. (AP) - Wildlife officials say a black bear believed hibernating in southern Indiana will likely awaken soon from its winter slumber.

Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources says the bear was spotted last November in the Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge and likely hibernated in that refuge just north of the Ohio River city of Madison.

The DNR says the bear could emerge from hibernation as soon as mid-February, depending on weather conditions.

DNR nongame mammologist Taylor Rasmussen is urging residents near the refuge to secure garbage cans, remove bird feeders and other food sources to keep the bear leery of humans.

It’s only the second wild black bear confirmed in Indiana since the 1870s. Officials believe it swam across the Ohio River last summer from Kentucky, which has a growing bear population.

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