Weather Authority Alert

More bears spotted in southern Wisconsin

By: Phil Levin Email
By: Phil Levin Email

POSTED Friday, July 19, 2013 --- 10:45 p.m.
Reporter: Phil Levin

After a rare black bear sighting near Edgerton, experts expect more will move to the southern part of the state.

Earlier this summer Judy Dominguez was gardening when her dog spotted the black bear nearby in a field.

"She beat me to the house," said Dominguez referring to the dog. " I guess it is maybe something we're going to see more often, but I don't want to."

DNR Wildlife Biologist Andy Paulios says there are between 20,000 and 30,000 bears in Wisconsin, but most live in the more forested areas in the northern part of the state. He thinks there may be as few as 20 south of Baraboo. He speculated the bear in Edgerton could be a young male sent away by adults.

"A lot of the food that they eat is in the forest and sort of meadows and wetlands so he's going to wander until he finds something good, he might remember where he came from and kind of loop back to that," said Paulios.

Bear attacks in Wisconsin are rare, but earlier this summer men were mauled in Burnett and Marinette Counties trying to rescue their dogs from bears. Paulios says when the animals get acclimated to human food they will continue to come back, so those animals often need to be killed.

This summer Paulios expects less bear sightings because wet weather is leading to a berry and insect food surplus.

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