Black bears waking up in northern Michigan

Apr 17, 2015

An American black bear
Credit National Park Service

Black bears are coming out of hibernation in northern Michigan. Wildlife experts advise residents to remove anything from their homes that might attract bears – like bird feeders or garbage.

DNR Wildlife Biologist Kevin Sweeney says spring is a stressful time for bears.

“Bears are moving right now, obviously," says Sweeney. "They’ve emerged from their dens in most areas. We’ve got new cubs at that time. The sows and boars are very hungry so they travel quite a bit in the spring.”

Sweeney says there are not many natural food sources available to bears in the springtime.

DNR says there are about 11,000 bears in Michigan, with about 2,000 in the northern Lower Peninsula.