Mar 28, 2013 7:40 PM by Akeam Ashford
Due to increased reports of Black Bear sightings, officials are explaining what your rights are when confronted.
Wildlife and Fisheries Maria Davidson says, "if a bear is attacking you may defend yourself? Of course you can, and then you immediately come out and you call local law enforcement."
Davidson suggests you first try to deter the bear from getting closer to you by waving your hands in the air, then make yourself larger. Bears have terrible eyesight and will usually run away. "Typically bears in Louisiana are very shy and their reluctant to come in close contact with people," says Davidson.
If making yourself larger doesn't work, you can buy a bear deterant pepper spray that will fight off an attack.
In 2010, a Lafayette man was hunting and shot a black bear and her cub, thinking they were hogs.Because he didn't make a positive identification before shooting, he was fined $950 dollars, and had to pay restitution.
If an investigation finds a black bear was not shot in self defense, the shooter could get a fine of $10,000, and then receive additional fines up to 25-thousand dollars.
If you have questions about your rights call Wildlife and Fisheries at 1-800-442-2511.