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DNR surprised by the return of Traverse City black bear

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Dan Wanschura
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The black bear seen wandering the Meijer parking lot in Traverse City last year was trapped in April. But after being relocated about 90 miles away, it's back in Grand Traverse County.

The Traverse City black bear is back in Grand Traverse County.

The male bear spotted near Meijer and Oryana West last fall and this spring has recently been tracked along the Boardman River corridor.

Last month, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources trapped and relocated the bear about 90 miles east in an area between Hillman and Fairview.

Because the DNR put a radio collar on the animal, they’ve been able to track him as he travels.

“Big surprise,” said Steve Griffith, a DNR biologist. “That’s a long way for this bear to come. It’s amazing. We will certainly learn a lot from the return of this bear.”

Griffith says the bear, which weighs about 450 pounds, has been spotted around a couple bird feeders.

He says euthanizing the animal would be a last alternative if it continues to target residential areas as food sources.