by The Associated Press –
HARLAN, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky officials have increased patrols in the southeastern part of the state due to a prevalence of people feeding bears.
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Bear Program Coordinator John Hast told the Lexington Herald-Leader that feeding bears desensitizes them to human contact and conditions them to human food. He says that can lead to bears exhibiting dangerous behavior. Hast says “A fed bear is a dead bear.”
He said the state recently increased the presence of law-enforcement and biologists along Kentucky 160 on Black Mountain and Kentucky 119 near Pine Mountain. The feeding of bears has been an issue in both places previously, but Has said it has become especially problematic this summer.
About 400 bears live in Kentucky, mostly in the state’s southeast corner.