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COUNTY: Macoupin County
NEAREST TOWN: Hettick
NEAREST ROAD: Hettick Road
OBSERVED: On 12/16/13 I was driving down Hettick Road in Hettick Illinois around 6:20 pm. I was coming up a hill and a shadow along side of the road caught my eye. This dark colored, large hairy animal on all 4 legs that resembled a bear. It kicked its back leg, turned to where it was looking at me and just stood there in the field on the passenger side of my car. It stood there and looked at me and was approximately 5 feet in height on all four feet. I went to my sister's house approximately 1/4 mile up the road and got her camera and we went back and took pictures of the footprints in the snow. About a week ago my mom and sister were talking about a loud hollering noise they heard in the timber behind their house.
ALSO NOTICED: There was a dead deer carcass near to where it was.
OTHER WITNESSES: No
OTHER STORIES: Yes my niece and friend have seen it twice, once on all four legs and once running and standing up on back legs.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was 620pm, dark with snow covering ground and about 27 degrees out and very foggy.
ENVIRONMENT: Between 2 timbers near a creek with a bridge.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke with the witness by phone.
- The animal was 5 feet tall while on "all fours" standing on the edge of the road.
- The animal was dark colored.
- The animal was less than 10 feet from the witness.
- Although unable to estimate a weight the witness described the animal as being huge.
- The witness was unable to see the face.
- The witness provided photos of the footprints but melting snow did not provide good enough conditions for decent photos.
- Black bear are extremely rare in Illinois, although there were a couple of sightings in 2009 and 2010 in Bureau and Jo Daviess County in Northern Illinois. There has not been a confirmed black bear sighting in Central Illinois in over 100 years. Please see:
Black Bear and Cub in Bureau County
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions. See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org