Editorial: A bear-able ending | Opinion
We couldn’t stand this story ending differently.
The black bear saga, which loitered in neighborhoods along the west side of Traverse City last year, ended uneventfully on Thursday when Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials said they managed to catch the bruin. At least there’s a good chance it’s the same one that escaped capture in the same area in 2020 despite months of attempts.
The nearly 400-pound birdseed bandit fell in love with a buffet of birdseed and suet and fell into a tubular trailer trap. The successful capture ends months of struggle to remove the bear from the hustle and bustle of the city and the dangers of being a bear too comfortable around people.
Officials said he would be relocated outside of the low-hanging smorgasbord, where he became a threat in 2020, before returning from hibernation.
Hopefully his tenure as a yogi impersonator in the neighborhood has ended peacefully.
The fact is, bears who are becoming convenient roaming neighborhoods, those who are beginning to identify populous areas with easy access to meals, sometimes find it harder to get out. And considering that only 10 percent of Michigan’s 15,000 to 19,000 black bears live on the lower peninsula, we don’t want even one of them to fall victim to our raid on the state’s wilderness.
This brush with a bear is also an important reminder for all of us to do our part in preventing bear-human interactions. That means removing the lure that draws them near our homes and neighborhoods.
If possible, put bins in them, stow pet food, and stop feeding birds on bird feeders after the snow has melted.
Because none of us want our garden buffet to cost a bear its life.