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Bear climbed into Crivitz home as family slept; video of DNR warden goes viral

The young bear was released unharmed after a struggle to convince it to leave
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 1:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 3:19 PM CDT
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CRIVITZ, Wis. (WBAY) - It’s the video everyone is still talking about today. We first reported on it here Monday: a DNR conservation warden removing a bear from a cabin near Crivitz.

That warden, Tim Werner, never expected a viral video would make him a celebrity bear wrangler.

“Saw the video, I was quite surprised actually and got a good chuckle out of it,” says Werner.

Just before midnight on Sunday, Werner received a call about a bear that entered a vacation home near Crivitz through a kitchen window. The intruder snuck in while most of the family was asleep.

“The bear was able to actually punch through the screen and came in, ate some food in the kitchen and then ended up working its way into the master bathroom,” explains Werner.

Werner says the startled guests from Illinois woke up, closed the bathroom door, then ran out of the house and called for help.

“Our original plan was to actually try to funnel this bear -- open the bathroom door, use some furniture to funnel it to the front door and let it out that way. Unfortunately, the bear didn’t cooperate with us and didn’t want to come out of the bathroom,” says Werner.

Noticing the bear was just a juvenile, and roughly 120 pounds, Werner figured he could use a catch pole.

It worked, but not before a stubborn, feisty struggle that ended with the bear released outside, unharmed. Video from Shane Gyger shows the bear being unwillingly removed from the home.

“I’ve dealt with wolves and bobcats and other animals that have been caught in traps and helped release those, but as far as releasing a bear from a house, this is a first,” says Werner with a smile.

Bear encounters are increasing at this time of year as adults go in search of a mate and cubs are sent off to venture on their own. The Wisconsin DNR estimated there were 23,200 black bears in the state last fall.

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