Bear euthanized after being recaptured in Traverse City area

September 24, 2021 GMT

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A black bear that traveled back to an area in northern Michigan after being removed for raiding bird feeders and trash cans has been euthanized.

The large male bear was recaptured Thursday, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

The bear was moving closer to downtown Traverse City and was comfortable around humans and in human settings, said Holly Vaughn, wildlife division public outreach and engagement manager with Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources.

The department transported the bear in April about 90 miles to the Alpena area in the eastern end of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. He was given a lip tattoo, ear tags and fitted with the electronic collar.

The following month, the radio collar indicated he was back in Grand Traverse County.

“Just the other day it was walking down South Airport Road and it was seen near Front Street,” Vaughn said.

A bear that loses its fear of humans is a threat, she said. Increasingly bold behavior and a heavy reliance on bird feeders and other human food sources showed this bear was likely to cause the same problems if the agency relocated him again, she added.

“We’re fond of the bear, too, so it’s a dark day for us,” she said Thursday.

Michigan is home to approximately 12,000 black bears, about 10,000 of which live in the Upper Peninsula, according to the department.