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Young bear caught on camera, affectionately named "Howard the Bear"

(WBAY)
Published: Jul. 15, 2019 at 10:33 PM CDT
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Brent Baker captured video of a bear that’s become affectionately known as “Howard the Bear.”

The bear was helping itself to brunch in Baker's backyard in Howard on Friday.

“We saw him twice last Friday. He was out about 11 in the morning. W looked out of our dining room window and noticed there was a bear eating the birdseed out of our bird feeder," said Baker.

A rare sight in his subdivision, but knowing food was near “Howard” didn't go far.

“Later that evening, my son went to dump the bird feeder. We knew we couldn’t keep the bird feeder out with the bear, because it was just going to keep them coming back. So he came out, dumped the birdseed out, and noticed the bear was sleeping underneath the tree about 15 feet away. He finished dumping the birdseed and high tailed it back up to the garage,” Baker said with a laugh.

Animal control said the bear was spotted about half a dozen times since July 1, roaming around the Mountain Bay Trail between Spring Green Park and Akzo Nobel Park.

It's not the first time bears have been sighted around Howard neighborhoods, but animal control experts say to be cautious.

“Basically, this bear has been moving from the east side of Howard to the west side, kind of zigzagging along the Mountain Bay Trail which moves east to west as well,” Monica Hoff, animal control officer for the Village of Howard, said.

If you do see it, Hoff says to not be afraid of it, just make a little noise. Generally bears are more afraid of people.

“You can make yourself a hazing tool, take a tin can, put some pennies in it or pebbles in it, tape the lid shut and use it as a shaker. Generally that will scare any wild animal away,” said Hoff.

Hoff says to calmly move away from a bear. Don’t shriek, scream or run. If need be, you can also make yourself look bigger.

To keep them out of your yard, take down any bird feeders and keep trash out of its reach.

So far, Hoff says it's been acting normally, eating what it can and avoiding people, but if anyone reports any changes to its behavior that's when the DNR would step in.

“If we do have a situation where it starts staying in one area or stops being fearful of people, there is a possibility where the DNR would make a decision to set up some sort of trap and remove it.”

Hoff has been working closely with the DNR tracking the sightings, and so far there is no cause for alarm.

If you do see the bear contact Monica at 920-819-6709 or

www.nps.gov/subjects/bears/safety.htm?fbclid=IwAR2GWu8i4KV14enV1Yx9CT0BjC_nXDACr6jCbzYIw1577PwkAxgxxnJaJKg">Click here for more information on bear safety.