An American black bear that caused quite a stir in DeKalb County this week has moved on to Ogle County.
After more than a dozen sightings in DeKalb County, the black bear was spotted Friday afternoon in a large stack of timber on a farm in Ogle County, said Hank Frazier, Region 1 commander for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The Ogle County Sheriff's Department confirmed that the black bear was there, and the owner of the farm has no plans of running it off the property.
"We hope it will keep heading northwest, but he seems to be staying put for now," Frazier said. "Hopefully it is on the right path and going to head back to wherever it came from."
Before ending up in Ogle County near Rochelle, there were four more sightings reported Thursday night into Friday morning in DeKalb County.
A resident reported seeing the black bear at around 9:20 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of Route 64 and Old State Road west of Sycamore, DeKalb County Sheriff Chief Deputy Gary Dumdie said. A second sighting was reported at around 11:10 p.m. near a retention pond at the Kishwaukee Family YMCA on Bethany Road in Sycamore.
Deputies were unable to locate the black bear during a search of both areas.
A third sighting was reported at around 6:30 a.m. Friday near Fairview Road and Tower Road north of I-88 in the western portion of the county, Dumdie said. A deputy searching the area was able to confirm that the black bear was there.
At 7 a.m. Friday, a deputy located the black bear resting under a tree near the intersection of Fairview and West County Line roads. A DeKalb resident Friday morning also reported that his bird feeder was damaged by the black bear, but could not confirm that it was actually done by the animal.
The black bear was first seen near Genoa about 8:20 a.m. Wednesday near the intersection of routes 72 and 23. A sheriff's deputy later spotted it near Derby Line Road in a heavily wooded area close to the Ellwood Greens housing development.
"We did a good job and the right thing by letting the bear be itself and roam free," Dumdie said. "Citizens did the right thing by allowing it to roam, and hopefully it will get back to its natural habitat where it belongs."
The IDNR continues to monitor the bear, which they believe is the same animal recently spotted across northern Illinois.