Too close to home
Bear moves into Manawa
By Holly Neumann
The Weber family has a new friend who is drawing a lot of attention to the city of Manawa.
A bear has decided to make its home at the end of Beatrice Lane, less than 20 yards from their house.
“He has been hanging out for a month or two now,” Jennifer Weber said. “He was hibernating in the culvert that runs underneath our road.”
With the recent melting of snow and rain, water began to run through the culvert, waking the bear and causing him to relocate just off of the side of their yard.
“The bear had to move to the woods when everything started melting,” Weber said. “That is where our daughter’s stick fort usually is, but the bear has taken over.”
Weber admits having a bear for a neighbor makes her nervous.
“There are little kids in the area,” she said. “It gets a little frightening. I hate taking the garbage out.”
Weber said the bear has come fairly close to their home.
“When he walks into the yard, we can really check him out,” she said. “If we had to guess, I would say he weighs between 350-400 pounds.”
Occasionally, the bear even stands on his hind legs to scratch on the trees.
“He is a pretty big guy,” Weber said. “And he doesn’t seem to be too terribly afraid of people.”
The traffic in the area has increased as people learn about the bear’s presence.
“I worry about people coming to see the bear and getting too close,” said Weber. “This bear is not hibernating. He is awake and gets up and moves around. I would hate to see someone get injured or their car damaged because they got too close.”
She reminds people to stay in their cars and keep their distance from the bear.
“Any kind of noise or lights shining on him makes him get up and move around,” Weber said.
She said there is nothing the local police can do about the animal.
They are currently trying to get in touch with the U.S. Wildlife Services to have the bear moved to a safer location.