The American Black Bear isn't native to Iowa, as you can see on this map from Wikipedia, but we've had another sighting here in eastern Iowa.

The Mahaska County Sheriff's Office received a report of a black bear in a soybean field in a rural area of the county yesterday morning. Mahaska County is only about 100 miles from Cedar Rapids.

The photos, which the Sheriff's Office says were submitted to them, are below. Even though they said on a post on their Facebook page that law enforcement was unable to locate the animal they did say they, "did find hair that they believe belongs to a black bear. The hair will be sent to the DNR for lab testing."

The sighting yesterday follows other reports in the last few weeks from other eastern Iowa counties including Tama and Iowa. I wouldn't mind seeing one... at a distance. If you do, here's what you should do:

  1. Do not approach or try to feed the animal. (No matter how cute they may appear, they're wild, people)
  2. Keep your kids and pets inside if there's a bear anywhere in the area.
  3. Report the sighting to your local law enforcement.

[via Wikipedia and Facebook]