Spring brings more black bear sightings to area

By: 
Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Visits from hungry black bears, especially during the early spring, are becoming more and more common in the northern lower Peninsula, according to the MI DNR, who said that the agency logged more than 200 complaints regarding black bears from that area last year.

 

REGION – Residents of South Intermediate Lake in Kearney Township outside of Bellaire had a very special visitor recently – a black bear.

Although black bear numbers have increased dramatically throughout the area in recent years, actual bear sightings are still rare to most residents of the region.

The visit from the good-sized male bruin, called a boar, that checked out bird feeders and trash cans just before the April 13 storm was a first for South Intermediate Lake residents Steve and Dawn Alger. The couple said the bear was seen at their bird feeders for three nights in a row, even after the feeders had been emptied. The bear also visited and caused minor property damage to at least three other homes in the immediate area.

According to area wildlife biologists, that's not uncommon, noting that once a bear has found food in an area, it is likely to return and homeowners should always be prepared by removing all food sources from the area.

"Although black bears are naturally wary creatures, problems typically occur when humans feed black bears, intentionally or unintentionally," said Kevin Swanson, a wildlife specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. "Bears can detect scents more than two miles away, so don’t unwittingly make household trash, pet foods and other food sources easily available for bears to find and eat."

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Bellaire, MI 49615
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