DELMAR, Iowa (WQAD) – Spotting a bear in the mountains or in the woods somewhere seems pretty normal but in a cornfield in Iowa, that’s a little more surprising.
A surprise worth a few snapshots, for sure, but at one point, black bears were actually native to the Hawkeye State.
It was a picture-perfect Sunday. Janet Turpen was on her way to Eaton Valley with little Xander.
“We were stopped on Highway 136 and saw a bear crossing the road,” said Turpen, who spotted a black bear.
A black bear out in the open cornfields of Delmar, Iowa, and the Montana native knew that was a sight to seize.
“I had my camera with so it was the perfect opportunity to capture a bear on film,” said Turpen.
“Black bear sightings have been a lot more common,” said Jeff Harrison, Iowa DNR officer.
Harrison said thanks to social media, black bears in Iowa seem to appear more often.
“In the last five years, we’re probably receiving two to three reports a year now, whereas 10 years ago maybe once every two years,” said Harrison.
He said this species, once native to Iowa, is attracted to corn or grain on barges.
“And they’re just eating and then, barge is moving down the river, when they get full they roll off and whatever bank they swim to that’s kind of the state they’re in for a little bit,” said Harrison.
If you see one,keep your distance.
“Photograph it, take a picture, do whatever you want to do with that-just leave it be, it’s going to go on it’s way,” said Harrison.
For a while, that’s what Janet did.
“For about an hour and half two hours,” said Turpen.
She watched this visitor chow on Iowa corn and took it all in.
“She’d walk for five minutes, have enough, take a nap, and take a quick cat nap or I guess bear nap,” said Turpen.
It will make it’s way back to the north woods after this quick change of scenery.