Indiana state wildlife officials have confirmed the presence of a wild black bear for the first time in 144 years.

Animal droppings examined earlier this week confirmed a bear in northern Indiana’s St. Joseph County.  Black bears have already recolonized eastern portions of Kentucky and Ohio.


Black Bear indiana

The DNR says the black bear walked into St. Joseph County from adjoining Michigan, which has an estimated black bear population of 15,000 to 19,000 bears. DNR Wildlife Section chief Mitch Marcus says “we were expecting a bear to show up eventually” in Indiana. h/t wthr

Indiana’s last confirmed wild black bear sighting was in 1871 in northwest Indiana.