Bear Sightings at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Campground

It may be called the Sleeping Bear Dunes, but that doesn't mean the national park wants the animals wandering around campgrounds there.    

Biologists say the lakeshore has had more than 20 black bear sightings so far this year.

Two of those sightings have been at the D.H. Day Campground.

Peter Baker and his family are camping at the D.H. Day Campground.

He says they are doing everything they can to make sure bears stay off their site.

“We keep our food locked and sealed up,” said Baker. “We'll keep our food in the car and in the cooler and not worry about it."

Sue Jennings is a biologist for the wildlife program at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

She says campers need to be aware of what is around their campsite.

“Bears have a tremendous sense of smell and they will soon be storing up extra fat reserves for the winter. It only takes one successful trip to the campground – they’ll remember where they got the food and they'll keep coming back,” said Jennings.

That's why cans like this are available to campers and trash cans are fully covered at all of their campgrounds. 

“People should store their food properly and roll up the windows in your car,” said Jennings.

So what should you do if you see a bear?

“A normal bear will be fearful of humans– they are really shy,” said Jennings. “If a bear does come in– we tell campers to make loud noises, clap their hands and bang pots and pans – bears will normally scamper off,” said Jennings.