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Bear sighted in Howard neighborhood, biologist says not uncommon as you'd think

Posted at 6:14 PM, Apr 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 19:19:27-04

HOWARD (NBC 26) — A Black Bear sighting caught on a doorbell camera Tuesday night in Howard is not uncommon, according to a Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist. He shares what to do if you see a bear.

  • Watch a Black Bear walk across a front lawn along Cardinal Lane and take off after seemingly getting spooked
  • Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Steven Burns says it's about time for bears to come out of hibernation
  • As an animal known to be afraid of humans, Burns says bears should never be approached

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

I'm standing in the spot where a Black Bear made an appearance on one neighbor's security camera. I'm your Howard neighborhood reporter Pari Apostolakos and some may be surprised. But, a biologist tells me sightings like this are not as rare as you'd think.

Kerri Hernandez calls herself a city girl. So, she was shocked, she says, to wake up to a notification from her doorbell camera app to see this bear in her front yard.

Kerri didn't want to appear on camera, but shared the video.

Another neighbor told us her husband saw the same bear while walking his dog, and it left tracks near their home.

Shocking, some say. But, not unheard of.

"The Wisconsin bear population is healthy and maybe even expanding," Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Steven Burns said. "Definitely expanding in its range."

Burns says sightings like this are not uncommon, especially in the Howard area. He says it's about time for bears to come out of hibernation, and here, they're usually just passing through.

"They're probably caught off guard," he said. "Maybe they followed the scent of food into town overnight."

He says bears usually don't want to get near humans and if you see one and want to scare it off, make a loud noise from a safe distance.

And, Burns says, keep things like garbage cans closed to avoid attracting them.

"It's just kind of a neat reminder that we live close to great bear habitat and that we have the opportunity to see cool wildlife in our own backyards," he said.

If a bear is causing problems on your property, you can call the department of agriculture wildlife services at (800) 228-1368.