Small bear in DeKalb still to be found


Photo courtesy of the Illinois DNR

The bear spotted on W. Dresser Road remains unfound.

By Yari Tapia, News Reporter

DeKALB — A DeKalb resident spotted a small bear Thursday near the 600 block of W. Dresser Road. 

DeKalb Police Chief David Byrd said the sighting was pretty uncommon for DeKalb. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was notified about the sighting.

“We put out (an) alert once we were notified of a sighting just so the community can be aware, and if they actually observe or actually have a second or third sighting of the bear, they can let us know so we can go and we know we can respond appropriately,” Byrd said. 

The DNR has not received any evidence or first-hand accounts of the bear sighting , said Jayette Bolinski, director of communications of the DNR in a Nov. 16 email.

“We believe it may have been a dog, based on the photograph that was provided,” Bolinski said via email. “While Illinois does not currently have an active breeding bear population, our neighboring states of Missouri and Wisconsin do. Bears from these neighboring states may cross briefly into Illinois returning to their permanent habitat, especially as they look for food and potential mates.

A Facebook post by the DeKalb Police Department said residents should call 911 if they spot the bear in DeKalb.

“If there’s a second sighting, we will notify DNR, which is the Department of Natural Resources, and they will respond and deal with the bear,” Byrd said.

This story was updated as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday to reflect that the small bear may have been a dog.