Black Bear causes hubbub in Ludington

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Posted at 10:01 AM, May 17, 2024

LUDINGTON, Mich. — A black bear roaming the streets of Ludington Thursday morning cause quite the commotion. Luckily the unexpected encounter ended peacefully.

The city's police department posted on Thursday morning about a bear spotted walking through neighborhoods.

FOX 17 spoke with Ludington City Manager Mitch Foster who says police officers worked to give it a friendly escort out of town.

"[The bear] was walking around for about an hour," said Foster. "Just kind of meandering around, really this part of the community for about an hour."

WMOM, a radio station in Ludington, live streamed the search for the bear. Police and DNR officers cornered the bear near businesses on Dowland Street. The bear climbed a tree.

Captain Michael Haveman with the Ludington Police Department says officers used several different methods to try to get the bear out of the tree and on its way back to the woods, including pepper balls shot from a gun. The pepper balls contain small amounts of pepper spray that can drive animals away from the smell.

However the bear didn't go so easily, jumping from one tree to the next.

Officer did eventually succeed in getting the bear to leave the city just before noon.

City Manager Foster says while it is an unusual situation to have a bear in town, it was energizing.

"It gets kind of people going and gets them excited," said Foster. "I mean, half the office staff in my office, were just watching the live streams that were out there or the photos that they would get from friends."

And while there were lots of people following bear online, it wasn't without danger.

"We always ask that folks stay away when circumstances like this happen because we want to make sure that PD, the Department of Natural Resources, MSP are all focused on removing the bear and not focused on you know, if you were to go over there and you know, interrupt them or be a traffic control issue. So, you know, in any circumstance, whether it's this one or future one, which we hope is not a bear, that people stay away a little bit."

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