One of the commenters in the above link references a bear sighting in Bureau County, Ill., about 100 miles west. I did a quick search of area bear sightings and found that a lot of people feel the local DNRs are covering up the number of bears, cougars and wolves in the Midwest. Take this forum, for instance. It would have you believe Vigo County, Ind., is home to scads of black panthers.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Black bears are advancing into southern Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin DNR and a post on the Stray Casts blog. A bear was photographed near Madison, and several sightings have been recorded recently in the southern part of the state. This raises the rare prospect of bear sightings in northern Illinois. The nearest established population of bears, in my analysis, would be near Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, 230 miles away. It's a tough call, though, with populations about 250 miles away near Cadillac, Mich., and a similar distance away in northeast Wisconsin.