A resident spotted a bear in her backyard in Richmond days after a bear was also spotted nearby over the border in Wisconsin and a month after sightings were reported in Antioch and Gurnee.
Jeanne Williams Nelson told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that she spotted a black bear in her yard early Monday morning.
She noticed the bear around 4:30 a.m. behind her home, which is located near Hill Road and Bonnie Brae Road in Richmond.
Williams Nelson said the bear stayed in the yard for at least 10 minutes. “We ended up scaring it off with all the noise we were making.”
She said the bear had likely visited her yard prior to the sighting.
“We had some scat in our blueberry garden box a few nights ago that we thought was raccoon since we didn’t know we had bears in the area, but after seeing it in our yard, realized it was bear scat!” Williams Nelson said.
The woman tried taking a photo of the animal but the low light and her screen door caused the photo to come out nearly pitch black.
A resident in Genoa City, Wisconsin, said on Thursday she also spotted a bear in her backyard, which is near Nippersink Golf Course. She was able to capture photos of it.
The sightings come a month after a woman spotted a black bear on the back deck of her residence on West Deer Ridgle Lane in unincorporated Antioch on June 10.
Antioch resident Natalie Fields told Lake and McHenry County Scanner in an interview that she had just come home from dinner.
Fields was sitting in a chair next to her patio door, which was open but had the screen closed.
She heard her bird feeder crash down and assumed it was raccoons or squirrels.
Fields said she got up from her chair and saw a black bear standing on her patio just feet away staring at her.
“I was not expecting him at all, and I don’t think he was expecting me,” she said.
Fields yelled at the bear for making a mess on her patio and grabbed her phone to take photos of the animal.
She opened her screen door to get a closer look at the bear, at which point it walked off her deck and went into the woods.
Fields said her home has a variety of wildlife but never has she seen a bear in the area before.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the sighting and they contacted the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
“Large visitors like the bear are becoming more common. We don’t want the public to panic. We want them to be educated about our visitors and act accordingly,” the IDNR said.
“If a situation arises that the bear needs to be drugged and removed the Department will work with Federal USDA Wildlife Services to accomplish that task,” the department added.
The Antioch bear sighting came just days after a black bear was spotted running near Gurnee Mills mall in Gurnee.
The Gurnee Police Department said they received reports of the bear sighting around 8:45 a.m. on June 7.
The bear was reported in the area of Hunt Club Road and Route 132 in Gurnee.
Officers responded and checked the area but the bear was not found.
A video taken by a motorist showed the bear crossing Westbrook Lane near Gurnee Mills Circle West at the Hunt Club KinderCare.
The IDNR said that anyone who sees a black bear should not run or surprise the animal.
“Make noise to ensure that the bear is aware of your presence. A black bear is not likely to attack a person unless it feels trapped or provoked,” according to IDNR.
“Respect the bear’s space, and do not approach the animal. If the bear sees you, stand your ground; look as large as possible by standing up straight and putting your arms up in the air and slowly back away,” IDNR says.
People who live in the vicinity of the bear sightings are recommended to secure their garbage cans and barbecue grills indoors and temporarily stop feeding birds.
Anyone who spots a bear is encouraged to file a report online.