Did This Texas County Trail Cam Just Catch a Glimpse of a Black Bear?

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by: Ron Reznick/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Conservationists are hoping they may have gotten a glimpse of a black bear cub on a Texas trail camera. Black bears are plentiful in regions across California and in various states throughout the Northeast. However, they’re considered threatened in Texas as well as in other areas across the U.S. So, if the Texas camera did glimpse a black bear, or potentially two, then that marks a success for conservationists.

According to KETK, wildlife experts predict that East Texas will be the next place seeing an influx of black bears. The creatures’ population in the neighboring state of Arkansas has surged from 250 during the mid-20th century to 3,000 currently.

These creatures were specifically re-established in the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas and Oklahoma at that time. The population’s significant growth has sent “spill-over” bears traveling into East Texas.

Conservationists continue to work to determine what kind of creature the camera actually captured. Meanwhile, viewers across the state are arguing that we might not actually be looking at a baby bear. Instead, some people suggested the camera caught a glimpse of a dog, a coyote, or even a wild hog. However, the news outlet points out that we can just see a large black shape in the background. It’s located in the foliage occupying the back right corner of the image. That image suggests perhaps if we did see a bear cub, then it’s likely that blob is a mature female bear.

Texans Should Capture Proof, Report Any Black Bear Sightings

The state of Pennsylvania is home to a litany of American black bears; more than 16,000 to be exact. When you compare the 3,000 black bears occupying Arkansas with the fact that there are just a handful of black bear sightings in Texas on average each year, you begin to realize just how threatened these furry bruins really are. As such, wildlife experts are asking Texans to capture proof of any sightings.

Dana Karelus, State Mammal Specialist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, stated that sightings statewide typically only number 5 to 6 annually, with the majority of them taking place farther north, near the Red River.

Karelus, as well as TX Parks and Wildlife, are encouraging anyone that sees—or thinks they saw a black bear—literally anywhere across Texas to capture photographic proof. She also encouraged people to report their findings about the threatened species to local Parks and Wildlife officials.

Hopefully, if East Texas does begin to see an increasing number of black bears, the animals do less damage than they’ve done in other regions across the nation. Black bears in Lake Tahoe have reportedly been breaking into homes recently while others completely ripped apart one man’s fall display.