Michigan Bear That Was Relocated Finds Its Way Back Home
We certainly love our wildlife. Here in Michigan at my home in Grand Ledge I see deer, foxes, coyotes, wild turkeys, raccoons and possums on a regular basis. Fortunately we don’t see a lot of bears in our part of Michigan, and that I’m happy about. My wife and I went on vacation to the Blue Ridge Mountains a few years ago, they are known for their black bears, we were warned but fortunately no encounters. But we did take caution, bought bear spray and an air horn.
Upper lower Michigan and the UP are home to about 15,000 to 19,000 black bears, with 90% of them residing in the Upper Peninsula. Bears mostly stay in heavily wooded areas, but they also come around dwellings where people live in search of food. There was a bear near the Traverse City area that was being quite mischievous and raiding area trash cans and bird feeders. It earned him a trip to another part of the state.
The bear was trapped by state wildlife officials. He was given a lip tattoo, ear tags and fitted with the electronic collar before being carted to the eastern Lower Peninsula. Michigan Department of Natural Resources experts using weekly plane flyovers tracked the collar heading back west. “For some reason he likes the Lake Michigan coast,” said Steve Griffith, a wildlife biologist for the DNR’s Traverse City office. The bear’s learned habits in familiar territory across Traverse City’s west side likely is the reason for his return, Griffith added.
They placed a radio collar on the bear to keep track of his movements, after moving him to the Alpena area in April. He is now back in the Traverse City area after travelling 90 miles back home. There have been sightings by local residents, but so far no more issues are being reported on this adventurous bear. They are hoping he has learned his lesson.
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