Here in Illinois, we don't get a lot of black bear sightings. As a matter of fact, I'm looking at a report from the Illinois Department of Natural Resouces (IDNR) that says our state has only had 5 total black bear sightings since 2008.

To take that even further, IDNR says that at one time Illinois had a very robust population of black bears, but we basically eliminated them from our state back in 1870. When you Google to see which states have the biggest black bear populations, most sources say Illinois has zero.

Which is probably news to the two black bears that have been spotted in Illinois in the last week.

Black Bear climbing tree.
You didn't see anything. (Getty Images)

If You Should Happen To Encounter A Black Bear Here In Illinois, Keep In Mind That They're Protected, And You're In Trouble If You Hunt, Kill, Or Even Harass One Unless There's An "Imminent Threat" To You Or Your Property

Last week, the Gurnee Police Department was on the receiving end of reports of a black bear in the area of Hunt Club Road and Route 132 at about 8:45 in the morning. Police showed up and searched the area, but no black bears were seen.

Then, on Saturday night:

Not exactly the most terrifying creature that you could find on your back deck (especially for those of us with dogs that are bigger than that bear), but you can see where some people mind find an encounter like that to be a little scary.

Local authorities believe that we've got a bear who's simply hungry and looking for a snack of some sort (perhaps a pick-a-nick basket), according to

Antioch police said sightings of the bear were reported Saturday evening in the Landmark Pointe subdivision which is located along Route 59 just outside the village's limits. Police urged residents not to approach the bear and to call 911 if they spot it.

On Wednesday, authorities in Gurnee reported a black bear near Gurnee Mills, but it's unclear at this point if this is the same black bear. The Gurnee Police Department received reports of the bear after it was spotted in the area of Hunt Club Road and Route 132 that morning.

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