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A "small black bear" has been spotted at Godfrey’s LaVista Park. The sighting happened earlier Monday by a village park department employee, and the village immediately reached out to experts on the matter.

Godfrey animal control officer Susie Stephan said there is no need to panic.

That being said, with the increase of bear sightings in populated areas in recent months, Stephan says it is important to be aware of your surroundings and, if a bear is encountered, remain calm and slowly move away; don’t approach. You can hear the full interview with Stephan and Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick below:

If you would like additional information, visit the site https://bebearaware.org