Mississippi Black Bear Numbers Rise

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Bear Hunting Magazine

Biologist from Mississippi state that more black bears are calling Mississippi home. The state's black bear population has soared in the past decade, growing from 40 to 120, elevating the species to an icon of the Mississippi Delta.

In Issaquena County, they occasionally are spotted along roads or rustling up bee hives, and residents say they want to see them flourish.

"They're coming back now,' said one landowner who saw six bears one day recently (about a dozen live in his area of the county).

Preservation of habitat and education of people have been critical in boosting the endangered species' numbers. "We see new cubs every single year,' said Brad Young, a bear biologist for the state and one of the top researchers of Mississippi black bears. "As time goes on, we expect to see more bears.'

Most of Mississippi's black bears live in the Delta, and sightings also have been reported in north and coastal regions. Although twenty have tracking collars, it is not always easy to spot the elusive animals.

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