If you're planning a family vacation to the Black Hills this summer, there's a chance you might be able to see a bear without having to make a visit to Bear Country USA.

Black bear sightings in the Hills are on the increase right now that news has wildlife officials concerned about public safety.

I mean, who doesn't like bears, right? Women typically find them adorable. As a man growing up, I remember watching Gentle Ben on TV and thinking it would be really cool to have one as a pet.

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Sure, bears are great until you find one rooting through your trash in the middle of the night or chasing your ass through a forest at 35 mph. Then all of a sudden, they're not so soft and cuddly anymore.

If you've ever seen the movie Grizzly, you know what I am talking about.

Dakota News Now is reporting that bear sightings have recently taken place in Lead, Spearfish, Johnson Siding, and last weekend, even in Rapid City.

The increased number of sightings have wildlife officials somewhat concerned as they urge the public to use extreme caution should they run across Smokey while wandering in the woods or stepping outside on the doorstep to get the morning paper.

Mike Klosowski with the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department told Dakota News Now, officials are confident multiple bears are involved with the recent rash of sightings. Confirmed sightings have been increasing 10 to 15 times in recent years.

Klosowski told Dakota News Now, seeing a bear in a populated area might be exciting for some, but people need to remember they are dealing with a predator. According to Klosowski, the public should always stay away and watch from a safe distance.

Source: Dakota News Now

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