Euthanizing black bear that roamed Michiana was the right call, Michigan DNR says

Officials for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are standing by their decision to euthanize a black bear that roamed northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan for more than a year.

The bear was caught in a trap in Berrien County on Saturday, April 9, and then shot as per Michigan DNR protocols. Mark Sargent with the DNR told WNDU that officials weren’t planning on euthanizing the bear, but then it began trying to get into homes.

“The minute they’re not scared by people, not scared by barking dogs, he doesn’t run away when you turn on the lights at night and he’s actually pushing on people’s sliding doors, trying to get in while people are yelling, we would list that as a potential high threat for human safety,” Sargent said. “That’s a problem bear.”

The black bear population in Michigan is so vast that the state has a black bear hunting season to help regulate the population and zoos don’t have room for more black bears, WNDU reported. The DNR didn’t want to relocate the bear to another area where it could still pose a threat to humans.

Read more about the DNR’s decision to euthanize the bear in the full story from WNDU.

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