Michigan black bear roaming northern Indiana euthanized
Stevensville — A black bear that roamed into Indiana from southwestern Michigan last summer has been captured and euthanized after becoming aggressive and trying to get into homes, authorities said.
Mark Sargent, a field operations manager with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, said in a statement the male bear was considered a potential threat to public safety and was tranquilized before being “humanely euthanized” Saturday.
The roughly 3-year-old bear was captured near Stevensville after the DNR set a trap filled with sweets and bacon, Sargent told WSJM-AM. The bear had recently tried to get into at least two homes, Sargent said, and wasn’t afraid of noise, people or dogs.
“It stood on its hind legs, and was pushing on the door trying to push its way in, even though the occupants were yelling at it and screaming,” Sargent said.
Sargent told The Indianapolis Star the bear, which was about 300 pounds, was big enough to “get through a door, wall or a screen door.” Relocating the bear wasn’t an option because it was aggressive around people, the DNR said.
“Relocation is just moving that problem somewhere else,” Sargent said.
When the bear crossed into Indiana in June, it became the Hoosier State’s first confirmed wild black bear sighting in 144 years. Hunting and habitat loss eradicated the species in the 1800s. Last fall, officials said it was raiding bird feeders and trash cans in Indiana.
In March, the bear tore up the bird feeders at the Stevensville home of Mike Kinney, who took a photo of the bear with its nose pressed against the glass of his patio door.
“I would have preferred to have seen him moved. But we can feed the birds again,” Kinney told The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph.