Student Article: "Black Bear Population Growing in Northern Michigan"
The following article was submitted by a student reporter in Mrs. Clark’s Communications Class at Sacred Heart Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.
Black Bear Population Growing in Northern Michigan
By Sophie Barrett
How much do you know about black bears? You may have heard the saying that getting between a momma black bear and her cubs is one of the most dangerous encounters. Luckily it is very rare for that to happen. Momma black bears can climb trees with their cubs, so it’s uncommon for them to have to defend them. Did you know between 15,000-19,000 black bears live in northern Michigan? Since 2012 the black bear population has risen by 29% and almost 50% since 2000 according to wildlife management specialist Kevin Swanson of the Department of Natural Resources. Since there are more bears now, the complaints about the annoyance of bears has increased. The Upper Peninsula’s population of black bears has grown more than 11% since 2012, and there are around 9,700 just in the U.P! Swanson proposed a quota saying that there will be around a 6,000 black bear increase! Did you know that they can go up to 7 months without eating? Imagine that! Also during hibernation they will wake up if they are disturbed. They can also weigh up to 600 pounds! Black bears consume 5,000 calories a day, which explains a lot about their size!