Tampered Trap Lets Bear Go Free

By KBJR News 1

July 6, 2011 Updated Jul 6, 2011 at 5:12 PM CST

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - A black bear cub, believed to be about a year old, has called the area home for several weeks, but trappers are now hoping to catch it and relocate it.

They were close, as the bear had been in the trap, but got out without triggering the locking mechanism.

It seemed to be a slam dunk for catching the Park Point bear when residents saw it in the trap, but it turned in to just a quick snack for the bear.

"We came back in the morning and somebody, not intentionally, but had let the door shut and when they reset the trap they had it so it couldn't go off. He could have hung in there all day and the trap wouldn't have gone off," said Alan Edberg, a private trapper helping to relocate the bear.

The trap has now been reset in hopes of the guest of honor returning.

"He has been in there and ate out of there so he is not afraid of it at all so he'll come back to eat," said Edberg.

It's not the first time a black bear has called Park Point home, but it's definitely the longest stay.

"Like so many other bear that have been here it would probable stay here until fall, until all the berries and the food are gone but because people keep feeding it, it's not going to leave," said Dick Gould, president of the Park Point Community Club.

Gould says feeding the bear can create a dangerous situation for people and for the bear itself.

"The bear is running back and forth across the street and is going to be hit by a car. The people feeding the bear should understand that they are putting the bear in jeopardy," said Gould.

The bear has been seen all over Park Point.

There are sightings down by the Park Point beach and up by the bridge and trappers say the best thing residents and those visiting the area can do to help catch the bear is to leave the bear and the trap alone.

"Just leave the trap alone. People have been hauling in food and dropping it off here too by the trap. If they would just leave stuff alone so I'm sure they're trying to help bait it in and stuff and it just doesn't help us at all," said Edberg.

Private trappers are being used to trap the bear and relocate it in an attempt to avoid calling in the Minnesota DNR which has a policy that inner city bears are euthanized rather than re-located.