Iowa farmer harvesting corn makes odd discovery—a black bear

“I was very surprised.”

Iowa farmer Eric Reicks was in his combine harvesting the last rows of corn when his father, working on site, called to alert him of something running toward him. Reicks thought it might be a deer, so he got out to see what it was.

"Never would have guessed it to be a bear!" Reicks wrote on Facebook. "Glad I wasn't too far from the tractor."

A black bear, one of at least two seen in Iowa in the past week, had apparently been trying to dig a den in the cornfield on the farm located 4 miles northwest of Schley, according to WHOTV and the Des Moines Register.

"I was very surprised," Reicks told the Register of the odd discovery he made Tuesday.

Reicks snapped a few photos of the encounter that lasted just a couple of minutes before the "scared" bear fled the cornfield.

"He went running away near a creek," Reicks told the Register. "Hadn't seen him since."

In addition to photos of the black bear, Reicks took pictures of the den the black bear was attempting to build.

Reicks explained on Facebook that the rear tire of the combine fell into a hole in which the bear was making its winter home. Claw marks can be seen in the dirt.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources stated that Iowa doesn't have a breeding population of black bears and those seen in the state likely came from nearby Minnesota, Missouri or Wisconsin.

Whatever the case, it was the first bear Reicks had seen up close, he told the Register, and will probably be the last.

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