CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The live sighting of a bear on FOX 17 News Monday has raised a lot of questions, and the Michigan DNR has the answers.
After several comments on Facebook and Twitter, many are wondering where the bear went and what happens if it’s found by DNR. Not to worry – it appears our not-so-little friend is in the clear for now.
The department actually has a procedure for handling bear sightings in populated areas that categorized the animals based on the level of danger they pose to people and property. Category 1, the most dangerous, is for bears that cause injury or death to humans. Category 2 describes bears that are diseased, injured, physically confined to the area, or repeatedly exhibiting aggressive behavior towards humans. Category 3 means the bear poses a threat to personal property and Category 4 means the bear is on the move, and not at all considered a threat to public safety or personal property.
The black bear spotted in Kent County was pegged a Category 4 threat by the DNR. The agency is suggesting home owners take down their bird feeders so as not to attract this or any other bears in the area.
As for where the bear is now, the DNR says they’re almost certain he’s migrated elsewhere. Shortly after our crews captured the bear on camera, DNR officials came back out to the site and saw it again, this time watching it scamper safely across I-96 before disappearing into the brush. DNR says bears are capable of covering great distances in a single day, so as to where he wandered, it’s anyone’s guess.