(stock photo from bear siting in northeast Iowa in 2016)


(Montezuma, Iowa)   A black bear has been spotted near Montezuma.   The Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office says deputies spotted it last night around 6:30, in a corn field a few miles southeast of Montezuma. 

Iowa's State Game Warden, John Steinbach tells WHO-Radio News it's a juvenile bear, and  it may be the same bear spotted in Mahaska County recently.

The Sheriff's Office says the bear's not a threat to the public, but people should leave it alone.

Iowa DNR Wildlife Biologist Vince Evelsizer told WHO Radio News, during an interview at the Iowa State Fair in August, that there were several bears in the state this summer.  He says the black bear populations are expanding in Minnesota and Wisconsin, so it's likely Iowa will continue to see more bears, especially adult male bears, approximately 2-3 years old.

Evelsizer says the bears are food motivated, they eat both meat and plant material.  He says some will get into garbage.   He also says they can move pretty quickly, so it's best if people just let them be.