BY LEN WELLS

Indiana Department of Natural Resources biologists have confirmed a black bear sighting that occurred in northeast Vanderburgh County early Sunday morning.  Indiana officials are suggesting the Vanderburgh County bear is likely associated with the string of recent sightings in Hamilton and White Counties here in Illinois. “This is Indiana's fourth confirmed black bear,” said Brad Westrich, DNR mammalogist. “With expanding bear populations in neighboring states, this is expected.”  The nearest populated town where the bear was sighted is Elberfield in rural Warrick County.

The most recent Southern Illinois black bear sighting was in the Crossville area where a resident snapped a photo of what appeared to be a bear and her cub.  Illinois Department of Natural Resources officials have been tracking the movements of bears in Southern Illinois since January 10 when a black bear was spotted in a tree near the Rend Lake spillway in rural..