It’s the time of year when Wisconsin’s black bears are on the move. Up in Polk County a mother bear and two cubs have been causing a stir, rummaging through trash and coming close to homes. “The key right now is to really be careful of how we’re managing our homes, with our garbage, with our grills, with our bird feeders,” advises Dave Zebro, a regional conservation warden with the DNR in Spooner. “People like to feed birds and have their garbage out early, and maybe they’re grilling. Try to keep that stuff away. Don’t put your garbage out until morning. Put your bird feederes away at night and clean up anything that is spilled.”
As for the mom and her cubs, they may be in for a little trip, as federal Wildlife Services contracts with DNR to remove nuisance animals. “They’ll trap the bears. They’ll typically move them thirty to forty miles away from the area, onto public lands,” Zebro said.
Zebro notes that the last several springs have seen reports of bear-human contacts in Wisconsin. People need to exercise caution because bears – like all wild animals – can be unpredictable.