Posted on 25 June 2015.
This bear, caught on camera in Algoma Township, is one of two bear sightings in the area in the last two weeks. Photo courtesy Luke Tonneberger.
By Judy Reed
Bear sightings have continued in northern Kent County in the last two weeks.
The most recent sighting reported to the Post was last Saturday, June 20, at 19 Mile and Algoma, in Solon Township.
Russ DeBoer, of Solon Township, said he was traveling north on Algoma about 1:00 p.m. last Saturday, June 20, with his son, Nick, and grandson, Ethan, when a bear crossed the road at Algoma 19 Mile. He said it ran behind Solon Center Wesleyan Church, on Algoma, toward the Solon Fire Department to the west.
“I saw a lot of cars in the church parking lot, so I pulled in, and saw a playground in back, so I went inside and told people. They were having a baby shower, and they had young kids, so I wanted to tell them so the kids didn’t go out on the playground,” he explained.
DeBoer said that he thinks it was a younger bear because it was smaller. “It wasn’t a cub, but it wasn’t full grown,” he said.
The Post called the church to talk about the bear, and while talking with Kathy Mabie, she told us about a parishioner who had also recently caught footage of a bear on his game camera.
Luke Tonneberger, who lives on 13 Mile near the intersection of Algoma, said that they had been gone on Saturday, June 13, and when he came home, he found a note taped to his door that said a neighbor across the street had seen a bear cross his driveway.
“I think the bear headed toward 13 Mile, then went back along my fence, by my house, and by my garden and compost pile,” said Tonneberger. He also has woods behind his house with trail cams.
Friday, June 19, he decided to check his game cameras, and sure enough, there was the bear. “If I was standing there, it couldn’t have been any clearer that it was a bear,” he said.
Tonneberger said that he has seen evidence in the past—6 to 8 years ago—of bears on his property, but nothing recent. “I see pictures on my camera of other wildlife, such as deer, raccoon, skunk, etc., but it’s pretty cool to get pictures of a bear,” he remarked. “It’s pretty exciting.”
The DNR recommends removing birdfeeders and putting garbage cans inside to keep bears from visiting your yard to feed.