Was a bear really spotted near Holiday World and Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana?

A Bear Sighting in Santa Claus

This morning I was scrolling through Facebook like I normally do while I wait for my brain to start firing on all cylinders when I came across a post from the Santa Claus Police Department about a bear sighting near Holiday World. I immediately saved the post so I could write about it for you when I got to my office. However, that post has since been removed... but not before making some headlines!

Holiday World
Ryan O'Bryan/TSM

Bear New Travels Fast

News of a bear sighting in our neck of the woods travels fast. In fact, there are a number of articles that have already been published by other media sites as I write this, including WEVV in Evansville, and  WITZ-FM out of Jasper, Indiana. WITZ says the bear was spotted by a Holiday World employee, and that the Santa Claus Police Department is searching for the bear. According to WITZ,

SCPD is searching for the bear, using tracks and other markers. Officers have not physically seen the animal according to Chief James Faulkenburg.

The spotting is believed to be on a back road near Lake Rudolph.

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Bear Facebook Post Removed

As I mentioned earlier, the post from the Santa Claus Police Department has since been removed. However, the police department did share a follow-up post that explains that the earlier post was removed and that additional information has been gathered. The Santa Claus Police Department says that Holiday World will be releasing a statement soon.

The post earlier has been taken down. Due to further investigation, more information has been obtained, and Holiday World will be doing a press release at some point today. Thank you all. Chief Faulkenburg.

Photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash

Bears Have Been Spotted in Southern Indiana

The idea that a bear could be spotted in Southern Indiana is not far-fetched. In fact, it has happened before. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources confirmed a black bear sighting in Vanderburgh County back in 2021. That bear was seen in Northeastern Vanderburgh County near the Warrick County line.

Em-BEAR-assing News

WTHR out of Indianapolis is calling the original post a "hoax" and claims the photo that was shared originated from a bear sighting in Oregon last year. So was there really a bear on the loose in Indiana? Holiday World has just released a very short statement to its Facebook page that reads, "We are emBEARrassed by the all of the confusion surrounding a bear sighting near the park this morning. After investigating, we discovered that the photo and sighting were fabricated and not true."

Animals You Might Encounter in The Wild in Indiana

There is no shortage of stunning wildlife in Indiana. Here are six species native to the state that you might encounter the next time you head outside.



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