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Wildlife biologists with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife plan to trap and relocate the black bear that has been seen numerous times in Michigan City the past few weeks. The trap was set the evening of July 15 at a confidential location.

Residents are asked not to attempt to interfere in any way with trapping.

On the night of July 14, Indiana Conservation Officers responded to multiple bear sightings in the Motts Park area of the city. Several residents reported seeing a bear rifling through trash and bird feeders near their homes. The bear also was reported walking on porches and standing against patio doors.

Because the bear has become habituated to this suburban area, visiting sites repeatedly, negative interactions with residents have increased greatly, potentially compromising the safety of both the residents and the bear. DNR biologists are working with the Michigan DNR to relocate the bear to rural Michigan, which unlike Indiana, has a sizable, established bear population.

Black bears are shy by nature and tend to avoid human contact. Attacks are rare. Black bears are non-aggressive in most instances and prefer fleeing from humans when given the chance.

Until the bear is captured, it is recommended that residents take precautions to secure trash indoors. If the bear is encountered, a person should make lots of noise to discourage the bear from the area, and should not attempt to attract the bear with food.

The bear, a young male, appears to have first entered Indiana in St. Joseph County the week of June 12. A scat pile it left in a resident’s driveway just north of South Bend was the evidence DNR needed to confirm the presence of a wild bear in Indiana for the first time since 1871.

Indiana DNR encourages citizens to report sightings of the bear to [email protected] or by calling (812) 334-1137 during normal business hours or by calling DNR Law Enforcement Central Dispatch, (812) 837-9536, anytime. Photos or videos can be sent to the same email address.

More information is at dnr.IN.gov, in releases dated June 12 and 15. View all other DNR news releases at the same website.

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