Over the past couple of years, Illinois has become a destination for wandering bears during the summertime.

Wild Bears Aren't Native To Illinois Anymore

I've lived in Illinois my whole life and until recently, I don't remember hearing about any bear sightings in our state. Well, except in a zoo or on the football field. In fact, they haven't lived here since the late 1800s. That's something the residents haven't had to worry about. I've read the stories about bear encounters in other places and that's something we definitely don't want to have to deal with.

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When Did The Bears Start Coming To Illinois Again?

The first recent bear sighting in Illinois happened back in the summer of 2020. Do you remember Bruno the Bear? It was the COVID year so many strange things were happening throughout the world including with wild animals. Over the course of a couple of weeks, Bruno wandered through Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri. Luckily, there were no major incidents involving that beast.

Another Bear Sighting In Illinois
Another Bear Sighting In Illinois

More Bear Sightings In Illinois

After Bruno, there weren't any bear sightings in Illinois until this summer. All of a sudden last month, there were a few. Residents reported seeing one of the animals in an Antioch neighborhood and Gurnee Mills shopping mall parking lot. Besides some damaged property, there were no problems.

According to patch.com,

Another Bear Spotted In Illinois

In July 2023, there was yet another bear spotted in Illinois. This time in Richmond, Illinois which is located in McHenry County. They keep getting closer to Rockford. Luckily, once again no incidents.  If you run into a bear, animal experts recommend staying away and leaving it alone. If you want some tips about what to do if you see a bear, HERE.

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