DNR biologist: Walker bear has likely returned

WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — The black bear seen wandering in Walker last year has likely returned, according to a wildlife biologist with the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

Last year, the bear dubbed “Yogi the West Side Wanderer” was seen multiple times in Walker. Recently, multiple people have reportedly seen a black bear around the same area.

John Niewoonder with the DNR believes all the recent reports of bears are the same bear seen last year.

Niewoonder says traps were set for the bear last year, but Yogi the West Side Wanderer evaded them. Officials don’t think the bear, believed to be a 3-year-old male, is aggressive.

The video shown below near I-96 by Bob Evans on Walker Avenue was taken a few days ago, Niewoonder believes. But sightings of the bear have been reported as recently as Thursday, he said.

People should not panic, he said. Bears are fairly common, and black bears are generally non-confrontational, Niewoonder said.

Niewoonder suggests folks not to feed the bear or approach it, clean up bird feeders, bring the garbage in at night and clean off greasy grills.

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DNR on bears