Black Bear Spotted in West Michigan on Sunday

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A black bear was spotted in the  residential yards and streets of Coopersville Sunday afternoon and  wildlife officials are advising the public the keep their distance.

The  Michigan Department of Natural Resources learned of the bear sighting  around 5 p.m. and have been working to learn of the bear’s exact  location since then.

"As far as we know, the bear's still moving  on the ground and we would like it to just keep moving and move out of  the residential area into the more rural areas and just go back to doing  its own thing,” DNR wildlife biologist John Niewoonder told 24 Hour  News 8 over the phone Sunday afternoon.  

Niewoonder explained  that it is typical for young black bears to roam away from home during  this time of year to find food or establish new territory. Officials  believe this to be the case for the bear spotted in Coopersville.

In May,  a young black bear made its way into Grand Rapids' West Side. It  eventually climbed a tree, at which point authorities used a  tranquilizer to knock it out. They then took it to an area near  Roscommon and released it.

"Don't panic," Niewoonder said. "It's just another black bear."

The DNR urges people to not approach bears if they see one or attempt to get the animals' attention.


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