Mississippi black bears: how to keep them out

Recently there have been more black bear sightings in Mississippi.

In 2002, there were about 50 bears residing in the state, and that number has more than tripled today.

Richard Rummel, the Black Bear Program Leader, said they estimate about 200 bears in Mississippi right now.

“Black bears are located statewide, but our healthiest populations are along the Mississippi River, inland just a little bit down along the coast,” Rummel said. “They’re still classified as endangered in Mississippi, but the population is still growing.”

He said to contact The Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks if you see a black bear, and gave tips on how to keep them away from your house.

“The best thing to do is contact us or look on our MDWFP website about bears, but the main thing is to keep your garbage up to where they can’t get to it, keep your grills and barbeque smokers cleaned up, and don’t leave out per food or bird seed because they like all that stuff,” said Rummel.

After his interview he said hopefully in the next few minutes they were going to resume trapping and collaring some bears over in the South Delta and picking up on some research that Mississippi State University has been doing.

If you are experiencing problems involving black bears or want to report a recent bear sighting, please contact MDWFP at (601) 432-2199.