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Posted: Wednesday, 04 June 2014 7:50AM

Black bear sightings on rise in Ky.

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — Black bears sightings are being reported over a wide swath of eastern and central Kentucky in recent days.

WKYT-TV (http://bit.ly/S7P96R) reports the Department of Fish and Wildlife has taken several calls from people who have seen the animals in areas stretching from Floyd County to Madison County.

Wildlife experts say bear activity increases in June and July as young bears go out on their own for the first time and older males look for mates.

Most encounters are in rural regions, but a bear was spotted recently near businesses in Richmond.

Experts say they expected black bear encounters to increase this year in eastern Kentucky, which had nearly 600 documented sightings last year.

If a bear is encountered, officials say people can usually scare them away with loud noises.

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