The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has euthanized a 500-pound black bear who had been roaming residential areas of Traverse City for months.

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Well, this isn't how I wanted this story to end.

In March I told you about a young black bear who had been getting into garbage cans and bird feeders in Traverse City. He was trapped by the DNR and transported 90 miles away to Alpena and released.

The bear, however, made his way back to Traverse City, and evidently resumed his previous behavior, even getting bolder.

According to a social media post from the DNR

The bear’s behavior has become increasingly bold. It has been raiding bird feeders, fruit trees, apiaries and trash cans and has damaged property. The bear has also been moving closer to downtown areas.

The DNR says they made the difficult decision to euthanize the bear in the interest of public safety:

Because of this escalating behavior and the bear’s comfort around humans and human food sources, and because relocation has proved ineffective, the DNR humanely euthanized the bear today (9/23) in the interest of public safety.

While we look to preserve wildlife populations as much as possible, our primary concern in these matters is human safety and we believe -- based on behavior and history -- this bear could pose a threat to human welfare. This was a difficult decision to make and the DNR weighed all options before settling on this solution.

The hide and skull of the bear will be donated to a local educational facility.

The black bear is the only species of bear found in Michigan. According to the DNR, in 2019, there were an estimated 9,902 black bears in the U.P. and an estimated 2,402 black bears in the Lower Peninsula. In 2020, there were 177 nuisance bear complaints reported in the U.P. and 185 in the L.P.

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