Health officials: Hungry bear turns Glen Lake facility into favorite dining spot

| June 23, 2020 8:28 AM

Officials are trying to trap and relocate a bear that has made the Glen Lake solid waste facility its regular feeding spot.

Kathi Hooper, director of the county health department, said the bear had come to the attention of officials earlier this month. It appears to be either evading or ignoring the facility’s electrified fences, she told county commissioners June 10.

“It seems to be climbing in and out of the site at will, even when the electric fence is on,” she said. “We have had staff out there every day.”

The bear — Hooper did not specify the type — came to the attention of department staff earlier that week. Relying on witness accounts, officials believe it is just one bear.

Hooper said the department had contacted state wildlife management specialist Kim Annis. She had agreed to trap the bear, Hooper said.

“Better get good bait, there is a lot of choice there,” said County Commissioner Jerry Bennett (D-2).

That was part of the problem, Hooper said. The bear had grown into a spectacle for area residents. Department staff had found food seemingly left outside the fence for the animal, she said.

“It’s kind of turned into an attraction,” Hooper said. “There are some good videos and commentary on Facebook.”

Department staff also handled a landfill fire the week prior. A disposed battery likely caused the June 3 blaze, officials said.

Department staff reported smelling acid the day prior. A search for the source of the offending odor turned up nothing. The next day a haze covered the site.

Working with an excavator and alongside firefighters, staff members spent roughly five hours digging through the waste to extinguish the blaze.