UPDATE (6/18/14) The Ogle County Sheriff's Office tells Eyewitness News that the bear has climbed down from the Mount Morris tree, and is now heading west. The DNR will continue tracking its location.
UPDATE (6/18/14): The saga of the black bear roaming bear has gotten a bit more complicated, as the animal has now been discovered up a tree south of Mount Morris. Mount Morris police did arrive on scene but have since left. The bear seems somewhat oblivious to all the onlookers, occasionally lifting its head but otherwise just resting in the tree. Officials have said in the past the bear does not appear to be aggressive towards people.
The Illinois DNR Director has tweeted the following: @DirectorMiller I'm urging people to give the black bear moving thru IL the space it needs to find habitat & move on.
The tree the bear picked is in the front yard of a home in rural Mt. Morris, and the Ogle County Sheriff has cleared bystanders off the property.
'Eyewitness News' has a crew on the scene and will have more details as they become available.
UPDATE (6/18/14): The Ogle County Sheriff's Dept. confirms the bear was sighted in the lawn at KSB Hospital Wednesday morning. It has since moved on.
UPDATE (6/13/14): The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office received several calls of reported sightings of the black bear.
On Thursday, the bear was spotted near the intersection of Rt. 64 and W. Old State Rd. just west of Sycamore around 9:19pm.
About two hours later, it was seen near the retention ponds by the YMCA on Bethany Rd. near Rt. 23.
Then on Friday morning at 6:30, it was seen near Fairview Rd. and Tower Rd. just north of I-88 in western DeKalb County. 30 minutes later, the bear was found resting under a tree near the intersection of Fairview Rd. and West County Line Rd.SYCAMORE - There has been yet another sighting of the now famous black bear. this time in DeKalb county, and with the bear sticking around the area, some local leaders think there should be a law for how to handle them.
"That is not something you see everyday" said a DeKalb County animal control officer as she watched a Black bear run past a home in Sycamore early Wednesday morning. Although it has not been common in the past, the sight of a Black bear wandering around the Stateline has been a common occurrence for over a week. With photos popping up on daily basis as the bear makes his way through county after county. From Winnebago County on Saturday, to Boone, and now the 6 ft. 250 pound Black bear has been spotted into DeKalb County. Captain Hank Frazier of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said “we are just not used to seeing a bear down here, so its kind of got everyone nervous or perplexed as to how it got here and where it came from”
The bear has not harmed anyone yet, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources reports that when humans do approach the bear, it runs off. “We ask people because it is a wild animal not to approach it, just let the bear be a bear. It is not hurting anybody, and eventually we hope it will wander back up north.” Said Cptn. Frazier
Eyewitness News received information that the last known area of the bear was in Sycamore in a wooded area, and local legislators say that if bears are going to stick around the area, they want legislation that will protect the animal. Cptn. Frazier said the legislation is in the works down in Springfield, and the earliest the law could be passed is January 1, 2015. “The legislature passed a law that goes ahead and protects wolves’ bears and mountain lions, in the state of Illinois because they are currently not protected and we are awaiting the governor’s signature on that.
Others in the area are concerned with the safety of the public, and want to have an emergency plan in place Winnebago County board member, Ted Biondo expressed his concern to Eyewitness News “What if a child would have walked around the corner of that building? im just saying, there needs to be some action.”
Biondo said he was not sure who to call when he heard of the bear sightings in the area, and thinks a state law would help with the response. “The states action so far has been to just protect the animal, and we need to protect the people.”