91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

To avoid encounters with black bears, remove bird feeders

Jethro Taylor
Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM
About 2,000 black bears live in the northern Lower Peninsula. Another 10,000 live in the U.P.

For rural residents worried about visits from black bears this spring and summer, a wildlife expert has some advice: Take down your bird feeders, at least for now.

Katie Keen of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says bears are particularly attracted to bird seed and suet because they have higher fat content than natural food sources such as roots of early spring plants and insect larvae.

Once a bear finds a bird feeder, it will keep coming back until the seed is gone or the feeder is removed.

Keen says bears that get used to eating around homes, yards and neighborhoods will lose their natural fear of humans, making conflicts more likely.

Residents in areas where bear sightings are common are also advised to keep trash cans secure.

She says it's dangerous to intentionally feed or try to tame a bear.

Michigan is home to approximately 12,000 black bears throughout the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
Emma is a producer for the digital content team at Michigan Radio. Her duties span all things web-related, from news reporting and photography to digital fundraising and graphic design. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
Related Content