MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) - A black bear cub was seen numerous times in Muskegon Monday.
The animal was first spotted around 7:30 a.m. in Muskegon Lake by resident Laura Bos, who took a photo.
It was seen again around 9:25 a.m. near the bike path on the Grand Trunk property walking in a southwest direction, according to a news release from the Muskegon Police Department. The bike path was then temporarily closed as officers and members of the Department of Natural Resources continued a search.
Authorities received several calls from people seeing the animal apparently confined to a 30-acre area, which authorities asked residents to avoid.
The bear appears to weigh between 125 to 150 pounds, is old enough to be away from his mother and likely wintered within a 5- or 10-mile radius of where he was seen.
The DNR ended the search around 2 p.m. Officials said if they were to tranquilize the bear, there was concern it might wander into a nearby lake and drown or onto a road and cause a traffic accident.
The bear was spotted again in the lake around 9:30 p.m.
The DNR said it is very typical for young male bears to wander a very large area before selecting a den site. Officials said this particular bear may now be heading back to where he came from after not finding a likable new home.
Black bears are becoming increasingly common further south in Michigan, the DNR told 24 hour News 8 last year after a black bear was seen in Greenville, Lowell and near Grand Rapids.
Bears enter populated areas in search of food, according to the DNR, which recommends residents keep an eye on their trash cans, dumpsters and bird feeders. Bears often travel near the Grand River.
The DNR also said there is no reason to panic if you see a black bear as the animals are unlikely to attack people. Officials encourage residents to avoid the bear and let it go about its business.
If you see the bear, authorities say to not approach it, retreat to a safe area and call 911.
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