NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) — The search is on for a black bear last seen in Southern Indiana after a motorist hit the large animal.
Witnesses described the bear as 200-300 pounds and said he looked seriously hurt.
The accident happened Sunday night around 8 p.m. on Interstate 64 near New Albany.
Police began searching the brushy terrain nearby and shortly afterward, people who live in the area began spotting a bear that appeared injured.
Cliff Kerce was the first person to report the animal. He said he and his wife saw the bear on the I-64 entrance ramp.
"There was a black bear right there on the on-ramp, so we stopped real quick and it was just a foot or two out there in front of our bumper,” Kerce said. "I could tell it was a bear right away, so I was just kind of in awe."
He said the bear had already been hit by another car and appeared badly hurt.
"It was bleeding from the left arm and its face was bloody and stuff. So, he's really disoriented just going in circles. It all happened pretty fast”, Kerce described.
He tried to block traffic with his truck and then called 911.
"They kept saying a black deer and I’m like no- a black bear,” Kerce said.
Police tried tracking its blood after finding watching the bear cross the median.
Kerce said, "he jumped it and stood there for a split second, and then he was gone."
The bear was spotted only a few miles away on Old Hill Road about 45 minutes after the accident. That is the last reported sighting.
DNR authorities are asking Southern Indiana residents to bring in bird feeders, dog food pans, or any other outside food that could attract the bear.
They are also encouraging people who spot the bear to try to observe its condition from a distance and call and report its condition and location to local law enforcement or IDNR.