Yawn…bears wake up from winter slumber, move into cities

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

BLOOMER, Wis. (WEAU) -- Bears across Wisconsin are now waking up from a long winter’s sleep.

But with their numbers rising, black bears are popping up in cities, raising concerns.

WEAU 13 News spent Sunday in Bloomer where some say bear sightings have become more frequent.

“It was definitely a black bear and it was a male because it was still very big,” said John “Smokey” Eastman.

Smokey and his wife Jean said they heard stories of a bear taking up residence outside Bloomer and went to check it out for themselves Sunday afternoon.

“We could see the tracks so we could tell it just came out of hibernation. We came within 30 feet of it,” Eastman said.

Jean snapped several pictures of the bear laying around outside his digs for the winter.

They believe the bear has been living in two storm drains off the on-ramp to Highway 53 from Highway 64.

“It was exciting to see it,” Eastman said.

WEAU went to the area and found the notorious Bloomer bear still recovering from a long winter slumber.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conversation Warden Scott Thiede said with the bear population back up they’re moving farther south and closer to cities to find food.

“Now with the spring and the warm weather we're going to see more bears on the move,” Thiede said.

The DNR says if you see a bear on the roadway or in your backyard, the best thing to do is to simply leave it alone.

“It's moving through for food. If you corner it and it goes up in a tree, and a crowd forms and then we do have a situation,” Thiede said.

Eastman said he saw a bear in his backyard in the city of Bloomer last summer.

He said he fears for the worst.

“There might be attacks, I'd hate to see it but there might be,” Eastman said.

The DNR warns not to feed the animals and that getting too close to bear cubs can cause mama bear to abandon her young.

Thiede said there’s no need to call the DNR or police unless the bears are causing problems or they’re an immediate danger.

“In the spring time we encourage folks to bring in their bird feeders and dog food and any food source bears can find. If you eliminate the food source you eliminate the bear problem,” Thiede said.

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  • by anonymous Location: Eau Claire on Mar 13, 2012 at 07:04 AM
    Did a guy say "there may be attacks?" If you're dumb enough to get close to a docile animal like a black bear and either threaten it or its cubs then I hope you get attacked...wow, Wisconsin...land of enlightenment.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2012 at 05:24 AM
    Good title... "Moves into cities" since when the hell is bloomer a city?
  • by Anonymous on Mar 12, 2012 at 04:09 PM
    This is why I live in the country. Bear make better neighbors then most people. You can easily co-exist with bears....some people...not no much
  • by J Location: Eau Claire on Mar 12, 2012 at 03:01 PM
    I think they are cute.
  • by anony Location: e.c. on Mar 12, 2012 at 10:29 AM
    recall them!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2012 at 05:24 AM in reply to anony
      I wish WEAU had a "like" button cause this is one of the funniest comments I have seen on here in ages
  • by Delusioned Location: Birchwood on Mar 12, 2012 at 09:20 AM
    The bears are moving south and into cities to get away from the bear hounders. How would you like to be chased 24/7 for 4 months by packs of hounds!!!???
    • reply
      by Steve-o on Mar 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM in reply to Delusioned
      First things first, totally irrational statement. Bears do not have the ability to reason. They may know where they can go to be the most confortable, but they cannot understand that by moving South and crossing the 64 corridor they will be free from bear hunters with hounds. Secondly, you are making a comparison between people and animals. People are not animals and visa-versa. If animals had ability to think and reason they wouldn't be animals at all! They would be called humans. Because you have a problem with hound hunters you take to a public forum to insult and degrad. You must be a big person.........
      • reply
        by RJ on Mar 12, 2012 at 04:05 PM in reply to Steve-o
        "If animals had ability to think and reason they wouldn't be animals at all!" Seriously?? you think animals can't figure out if they are getting screwed with, to move where they are not screwed with?? no they don't know that a certain road is a magical dividing line, but they are not as dumb as you obviously think they are..
  • by Denny on Mar 12, 2012 at 09:00 AM
    We take away the habitat of wild animals and birds..then wonder why they are coming into our communites.......maybe it used to be their neighborhood until we cut down the tree and bulldozed it so we could build another store. The creatures where here first.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 12, 2012 at 06:33 AM
    Where do people want these animals to go? We keep bulldozing land to build houses, forcing them into cities. For those idiots that corner a bear,I say whatever happens to you is your fault. The human race feels such an entitlement over everything it's appaling. God put these creatures here for a reason! I live in the country and when a bear wanders through we just go in the house and let it be on its way. No people or animals have been harmed out here.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 12, 2012 at 09:14 AM in reply to
  • by Martha Location: Bloomer on Mar 12, 2012 at 06:33 AM
    This is the bear we have been watching. It is along our driveway.
  • by Pat Location: Rice Lake on Mar 12, 2012 at 06:26 AM
    Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up.
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