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Bear spotted in downtown Ludington, DNR gets it back into the woods safely

LUDINGTON — A black bear on the loose in the city caused quite a stir for one Northern Michigan community.

The city of Ludington was buzzing all morning as law enforcement and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources tried to get the wild animal to go back into the woods.

Ludington Police Captain Michael Haveman said there was a lot of interest in the morning visitor.


“A lot of people came out to see the bear, take pictures and just kind of see what was going on. So, a lot of excitement surrounding this,” said Haveman.

Haveman said an officer spotted the bear crossing Tinkham Avenue near Nelson Road around 7:30 Thursday morning.

Haveman said the officer tried to shoo the bear back into the woods when the bear took off heading for Ludington Elementary.

“He then went to the elementary school to make sure that the bear didn’t go through and get by the playground where the kids are. And we chased the bear back into the woods, and he ran right back over to the high school,” said Haveman.


The elementary kids were ushered inside and roads were shut down as they pursued the bear through the streets of Ludington as a precaution for people and the bear.

“We didn’t want to go through this whole process and then end with the bear getting run over by a car, like it’s. That’d be an unfortunate way for this to end, " said Haveman.

The DNR was called in to help assist. Brian Brosky was one of the conservation officers that responded.

“We were able to wrangle it a couple of times. Eventually, it finally ended up in a backyard spruce tree was there for several minutes,” said Brosky.


He said they didn’t have any tranquilizers so they used non-lethal bullets and beanbags on the bear.

“After we fired a couple of bean bags into it, it came down, but unfortunately, it went up to the adjacent tree, spent some time up there and then some additional buckshot rounds, basically took care of it.

The bear came down and they were able to then guide it back to the woods.

Brosky said bears in the city aren’t common, but there have been an increase in sightings. He said bears generally don’t want to be around people, it’s usually food that entices them.


“Right now, there’s not really a readily available food source. .It’s a little bit scarce until everything starts budding, blooming. So, probably looking for an easy food source. Bird feeders, hummingbird feeders, dog food and even garbage,” said Brosky.

No matter what the reason for the visit, today is a day Ludington is sure not to forget.

Local radio station owner and morning show host of WMOM, Chris Nicholas, was livestreaming the ordeal all morning.

“Not expecting chasing a bear today, a couple of years ago, we chased around a bull cow here in Ludington. It’s rare for a bear to be roaming down the streets and in the backyards and on the sidewalks of Ludington. ,” said Nicholas.

If you have video of the bear and would like to share it, email it to

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