TC tourist bear

It was with great sadness that I read the recent Record-Eagle article about our 500-pound Traverse City black bear.

Being on a bear budget, he came back to Traverse City after Labor Day hoping to better afford a hotel or Bearbnb. Unable to find a place to say (the State Park a bit too rustic) and unable to get reservations at a downtown restaurant, he found himself sauntering through the West side neighborhoods grabbing a little birdseed and some garbage scraps — but he never harmed or threatened anyone.

I understand why city residents find the tourist bear annoying — making a mess of our garbage cans, damaging our bird feeders and gaining popularity on social media. We love our human tourists, but they’re not perfect either. Though most aren’t hairy and weigh 500 pounds, they can be equally or even more annoying. Tourist bears never drink too much, or drive too slow, or feed the seagulls at the beach.

Don’t worry TC tourist bear: next summer, as you look down on us from bear heaven, we’ll welcome your bear relatives with open garbage cans and extra bird seed.

Matthew Madion

Traverse City

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