TRAVERSE CITY — A birdseed bandit known for rambling around Traverse City’s west side has been targeted by state wildlife officials.
The black bear has shown up in the Meijer parking lot and has been spotted in various residential areas across the western side of the city.
“It seems like he’s been moving west,” said Stephen Griffith, wildlife biologist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
DNR officials this week relocated one of three bear traps set around the community, he said, moving the most eastward trap further west in pursuit of the bruin now bulking up for winter.
The bear has for weeks been reported as either raiding or completely destroying area birdseed feeders and trash cans.
Luise Bolleber of Northridge Drive said the bear took out her bird feeder Sunday night. She posted about the experience on the online Nextdoor neighborhood app.
“I should have taken it in at night, my bad,” Bolleber said. “This month has been so warm and it continues to find food.”
One of her neighbors, Jill Rice on Deerfield Lane, wrote on Facebook that the Traverse City bear got into her birdseed feeder that very same night.
Both homes are not far west of the Traverse City West Middle School campus.
DNR officials were unable to capture the bear when it was spotted in the Meijer parking lot on Oct. 15. In the days prior, emergency authorities reported a large bear had been seen raiding bird feeders and trash cans in various spots on that side of Traverse City, including the Grand Traverse Commons, Silver Lake Road, Fifteenth Street, Veterans Drive, Fitzhugh Drive, Division Street and the Bay Hill Apartments area.
DNR wildlife officials want to capture the bear and relocate it to a less populated area, Griffith said.