Black bear spotted in Black Creek

Cindy and Scott Sherman are local bee keepers that had a rude awakening on May 8 and 9.
It appears that a black bear helped himself to their bee hives and made quite a mess along with damages.
The couple caught the bear in action on the second night with their trail camera and even tried yelling out their bedroom window, which is about 20 feet away to scare the bear away.
Cindy said, “The bear was huge and didn’t seem to mind them screaming at him, he just went about his business of destroying their hives to get some honey.”
Cindy was nervous that the bear was in the neighborhood because they own dogs and she didn’t want them to have a confrontation with the bear.
They contacted the USDA, and they set up a bear trap, however the bear had moved on by that time.
The Sherman’s neighbors also received some damage to their bird feeders.
The DNR offers tips to help homeowners avoid potential bear conflicts.
Black bears normally avoid contact with people, but when food sources are available, bears can learn quickly to associate humans with food.
“Bears are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of available food sources,” said Brad Koele, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Damage Specialist. “Bird feeders, garbage cans, grills, and unconstrained compost or pet food left outside can be targets for hungry bears. It’s important to make these attractants inaccessible to bears at all times of the year but particularly in the Spring- time when natural food sources are limited.”
Homeowners can follow these steps to avoid attracting black bears:
• Do not knowingly feed a bear;
• Completely remove bird feeders, even during daytime hours – bears are active during the day and may cause problems even if the feeders are out only during that time;
• Clean areas where bird feeders were located so that accumulated deposits of spilled seed are removed;
• Reduce garbage odors by rinsing food cans before putting them in covered recycling containers or garbage cans;
• Keep meat scraps in the freezer until garbage day, and if possible, keep garbage cans in a closed building until the morning of pick-up;
• Be sure to lock commercial dumpsters;
• Keep pet food inside or inaccessible to bears even during daytime hours; and
• Keep barbecue grills and picnic tables clean.
“If a bear is near your home, wave your arms and make noise to scare it away–back away slowly and seek a safe location where you can wait for the bear to leave,” said Koele. “Make sure it has a clear escape route – never corner a bear. If you encounter a bear in the woods, stay calm and do not approach the bear. Never approach a sow with cubs, and do not attempt to breakup a fight between your pet and a bear.
The department partners with U.S. Department of Agriculture – Wildlife Services to respond to approximately 800 bear-related complaints reported in the Wisconsin each year.
Homeowners who are unable to resolve a conflict with a bear should contact the USDA Wildlife Services toll-free line at 1-800-433-0663 for properties in Southern Wisconsin and 1-800-228-1368 for properties in Northern Wisconsin.
For more information regarding bears and safety, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords “bear.”

A black bear destroyed these bee hives on Old Town Road in Black Creek. This nuisance bear terrorized the neighborhood taking down bird feeders and bee hives. Below, the bear caught on camera. – Submitted photos

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