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Lansing – Now that spring is here, wildlife experts say it’s time for property owners to take precautions against attracting black bears.

Bears can be found across more than half of Michigan. The population is estimated at 10,000 in the Upper Peninsula and 2,000 in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Katie Keen of the Department of Natural Resources says the best way to avoid conflicts is to remove food sources that would draw the animals away from their natural targets, such as early spring plants and insects in trees and logs.

Bird feeders are particularly popular with bears, which enjoy birdseed and suet. Other magnets include garbage cans, dumpsters, barbecue grills, restaurant grease bins and beehives.

Keen says once a bear gets a meal at a particular spot, it tends to keep returning.

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