Black bear captured in Midland neighborhood released in forest - WNEM TV 5

Black bear captured in Midland neighborhood released in forest

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Courtesy: Ashleigh Metiva Courtesy: Ashleigh Metiva
MIDLAND COUNTY -

Authorities have captured an unwanted visitor in Midland County after several hours of tracking the black bear through city backyards.

Midland County Central Dispatch first reported there was a black bear in the area of Chapel and Summerset traveling eastbound about 9 a.m. on Monday. The area is heavily populated, with Jefferson Middle School just west of the location.

The bear, a male, then moved to backyards between the 600 block of Harper and Nakoma, where he finally ended up in a garage. The animal was hit with at least six tranquilizer darts before he finally was sedated, allowing DNR officials to load him into a bear trap.

"It did take a few extra doses, but we did finally get him down. And he survived and is walking around in the woods today," said Barry Sova, wildlife technician for the DNR.

Sova was called in to help capture the bear, but said these sort of situations aren't all that uncommon.

"It happens throughout Michigan probably five or six times a year, mostly north up in the U.P. it happens," Sova said.

The bear was released in the Grayling Area State Forest, the DNR said.

Angie Greiner, Midland County resident, was terrified.

"The most terrifying part was when it was at my back door and it was pounding and two police officers had to come in and kind of reinforce the door so it didn't get through. I have three kids inside with a friend over playing today," Greiner said.

WATCH: Bear in garage, loaded into trap

WATCH: James Felton track bear in backyards

The bear, estimated to be about 3-4-years-old is about 250 pounds, and was transported to a more rural area up north where he was released at one of three approved bear release sites in Grayling.

Ashleigh Metiva said she was on her way to work at Members First Credit Union when the bear ran out in front of her. She sent TV5 two photos showing the bear climbing a nearby tree. 

VIDEO: Black bear running through Midland neighborhood

The Michigan DNR said black bears are generally fearful of humans and will leave if they are aware of your presence. If you encounter a bear that does not turn and leave, first try to scare it off by yelling while leaving a clear, unobstructed escape route for the bear.

"If the bear stands its ground, makes threatening sounds, or bluff charges, you are too close. Take slow steps backward while continuing to talk to the bear in a stern tone. In the rare event of an attack, fight back with a backpack, stick, or your bare hands. Black bears have retreated in similar situations. DO NOT run or play dead," the DNR said. 

>>Slideshow: Black bear in Midland subdivision<<

The DNR said adult female black bears weigh approximately 90 to 300 pounds, and adult males weigh about 130 to 500 pounds. An average adult bear stands less than three feet tall at the shoulder when on all fours, and are about three to five feet in length.

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