GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - Authorities say four people reported seeing a black bear in Jenison Thursday.
The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department said it received four credible reports of sightings around 1:30 p.m. The reports were in the Wallinwood Springs area, on the fairways at the Wallinwood Springs golf course and in a nearby residential area.
The bear, described as a black bear, did not display threatening or menacing behavior, the sheriff's department said.
The sightings were the talk of the neighborhood Thursday.
"I've seen a fox, a few deers, plenty of stray cats, but not a bear," resident William Docsa, who lives near the golf course, said.
Residents said they would be doing a double-check before they walk out the door.
"We have a lot of walkers here. So it's kind of a concern because bears run fast," Wendy Katerberg, who also lives near the golf course, said.
Fast enough to have Docsa thinking twice before he goes outside again.
"I'm going wait for him to finish his golf game and get out of here," Docsa said.
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. One was spotted in Muskegon earlier this year.
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. Residents are reminded to not feed the bear or photograph it.
24 Hour News 8's Tom Hillen contributed to this story.
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