Indiana Department of Natural Resources
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources today confirmed the presence of a black bear in and around Corydon in southern Indiana.
The bear was first reported around 9 p.m. Sunday. Indiana Conservation Officers received a call from a Harrison County homeowner of a bear going through the caller’s garbage.
Conservation officers, sheriff’s deputies and local animal control officers responded but did not locate a bear. On Monday morning, the bear was observed by several people, including conservation officers, in areas near State Road 62 and later in Corydon.
The sighting comes roughly a year after a black bear wandered into northwest Indiana from Michigan. That bear was the first verified presences of a bear in Indiana in more than 140 years. After spending several weeks in Indiana, the bear returned to Michigan.
Young black bears are known to disperse in the springtime as they seek new territory in which to settle. The bear is most likely wild and swam across the Ohio River from Kentucky. Kentucky has an expanding bear population.
“We’ve anticipated this possibility and our staff has been preparing,” said Linnea Petercheff staff operations specialist with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.
Black bears are shy by nature and tend to avoid human contact. Attacks are rare. Black bears are non-aggressive in most instances and prefer fleeing from humans when given the chance. DNR wildlife biologists offer the following bear awareness tips:
– Don’t intentionally feed bears. If a bear becomes accustomed to finding food near your home, it may become a “problem” bear.
– Eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed.
– Clean and store grills away after use.
– Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.
– Remove bird feeders and bird food from late March through November.
– Don’t add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
– If encountering a bear, don’t run. Shout, wave your arms and back away slowly.
– Collect and remove low-hanging or fallen fruit from fruit trees.
– Eliminate meat, cooking oil, fish or fruit odors from near your home. This includes fish-meal fertilizers.
– Collect and remove any ripened vegetables from your garden.
Indiana DNR encourages citizens to report bear sightings to dfwinput@dnr.IN.govor by calling (812) 334-1137 during regular business hours. Photos or videos can be sent to the same email address. The maximum file size is 15 MB.
DNR wildlife biologists will monitor the bear to determine whether to allow it to remain where it is or trap it and relocate it to a more suitable environment for a bear. That decision will be based on whether the bear exhibits nuisance behavior and continues to come into close contact with humans.
The DNR has a protocol in place should the bear become a nuisance, according to Josh Griffin of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.
“It’s best if people just leave the bear alone and let it be a part of the natural environment,” he said.
As European settlers began arriving in the 1700s in what is now Indiana, black bears were found throughout the territory. Loss of habitat and demand for furs of all sorts led to the bears’ demise in Indiana.
According to the book “Mammals of Indiana” by John O. Whitaker, Jr., and Russell E. Mumford, the last confirmed report of a resident wild black bear in Indiana was in 1850. Whitaker and Mumford report a bear sighting in northwest Indiana in 1871 but note it was forced south from Michigan to escape a series of fires known historically as the Great Michigan Fire.
Black bears are now listed as an exotic mammal and protected under Indiana Administrative Code 312 9-3-18.5 (b-1), which prohibits the killing of a black bear except by a resident landowner or tenant while the animal is “destroying or causing substantial damage to property owned or leased by the landowner or tenant.”
South-central Indiana is hilly and heavily forested with large tracts of public land. Harrison-Crawford State Forest and O’Bannon Woods State Park occupy about 26,000 acres in the area. The Hoosier National Forest also occupies large swaths in Crawford and neighboring Perry County.
“It is possible black bears may re-establish populations in the southern half of our state,” said Sam Whiteleather of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “Education efforts on how to deal with nuisance black bears would be conducted to help ensure black bears are enjoyed from a distance.”
By Kristen Kilker
Indiana State University
The Community School of the Arts at Indiana State University is now accepting registrations for Rock Camp, a six-day, five-night residency program July 17-July 22.
“We take beginners — you don't have to have any musical experience at all,” said Crystal Myers, administrative assistant for Community School of the Arts. “If you play piano and you want to learn how to play guitar or drums, you are given that opportunity during this camp.”
The camp is open to high school students or those who will start high school in the fall.
“It's a good social environment,” Myers said. “A lot of kids come back, but it's nice to have a lot of new students, because they'll get to meet other students from Indianapolis and Evansville and all over. And they learn so much — and have the opportunity to get to learn any instrument they want, it's there.”
Not only is Rock Camp a musical and social experience, but also skills learned during the program may help students in other academic areas, such as sports.
“It's shown that with the arts, music or visual arts or theater, it helps you with your other skills such as math, that it helps you retain information, it's a lot of memory work,” Myers said.
Experienced and amateur musicians are able to play electric guitar, bass guitar, voice, drums, keyboard and can even receive voice instruction. The program acknowledges that not all participants will have the same level of musical experience, so participants are divided into multiple bands. Amateur musicians may also receive another level of mentorship from other, more experienced participants in addition to faculty.
“We try to mix some of the ones that are more advanced with some of the beginners so that it levels it out and advanced performers sometimes forget (basic things),” Myers said. “In real life, if you decide to form a band, you're going to have people who may only play a little bit. It just brings it back down to a level where many people will have the same understanding.”
Rock Camp promises nonstop fun for participants. In addition to instruction, talent shows will allow participants to demonstrate their talents, and students will be able to work with sound equipment and in recording studios to create original music. At the end of the camp, participants will able to perform for their friends and family in the Landini Center for the Performing and Fine Arts.
“These kids, by the end of the week, they learn up to four or five songs. It's all by memory.We'll have a final performance in the Landini Center in room 159,” she said.
High schoolers can register as residents or commuters. The residential rate is $525 and is all-inclusive. Boys will stay in Jones Hall, while girls will stay in Hines Hall. Students will even be able to experience State’s award-winning Student Rec Center for a day.
Commuter registration is $300 for the week, but meal plans are not included. Commuter participants are encouraged to purchase a $125 meal card for use at Generations restaurant and Sycamore Dining, but brown-bag lunches can also be brought from home. All participants will receive the same hands-on experience, one-on-one instruction with experienced musicians and Indiana State music faculty, and will meet like-minded students from all over Indiana.
Rock Camp is sponsored by the Indiana Arts Commission, the Indiana State University Center for Community Engagement and 21st Century Scholars.
For more information for Rock Camp, contact the Community School of the Arts at 812-237-2528 or register at the school’s website,www.unboundedpossibilities.com/csa.