An American black bear appears to be moving west toward Ogle and Lee counties after three more sightings were reported overnight and this morning, DeKalb County Sheriff Chief Deputy Gary Dumdie said.
A resident reported seeing the black bear at around 9:15 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of Route 64 and Old State Road west of Sycamore, Dumdie said. A second sighting was reported at around 11:10 p.m. near a retention pond at the Kishwaukee Family YMCA on Bethany Road in Sycamore.
Deputies were unable to locate the black bear during a search of both areas.
A third sighting was reported at around 6:30 a.m. today near Fairview Road and the west county line in rural Malta, Dumdie said. A deputy searching the area was able to confirm that the black bear was there.
"The bear is not bothering anyone at this point, and we are keeping track of its location," Dumdie said. "It appears to be heading west, so we are going to inform Ogle and Lee counties about where it's headed. It seems like he is lost and looking for something."
The sheriff's office has also notified the Illinois Department of Natural Resources about the most recent sightings.
The black bear was first seen near Genoa about 8:20 a.m. Wednesday near the intersection of routes 72 and 23. A sheriff's deputy later spotted it near Derby Line Road in a heavily wooded area close to the Ellwood Greens housing development.
The IDNR continues to monitor the bear, which they believe is the same animal recently spotted across northern Illinois.
Residents are advised to take precautions, such as closely supervising pets and small animals when they're outside, taking down bird feeders, and not leaving any kind of food outside.