Black bear breaks into WI vacation home as IL family sleeps; video of removal goes viral

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Sunday, July 3, 2022
Video of DNR warden removing bear from WI vacation home goes viral
Video of a DNR conservation warden removing a black bear from a cabin in Crivitz, Wisconsin is going viral.

CRIVITZ, Wis. (WLS) -- Video of a DNR conservation warden removing a black bear from a cabin in Wisconsin is going viral.

That warden, Tim Werner, never expected the video would make him a celebrity bear wrangler.

"Saw the video, I was quite surprised actually and got a good chuckle out of it," Werner told WBAY-TV.

Just before midnight on Sunday, Werner received a call about a bear that entered a vacation home near Crivitz through a kitchen window. The intruder snuck in while most of the family was asleep.

"The bear was able to actually punch through the screen and came in, ate some food in the kitchen and then ended up working its way into the master bathroom," Werner said.

Werner said the startled guests from Illinois woke up, closed the bathroom door, then ran out of the house and called for help.

"Our original plan was to actually try to funnel this bear -- open the bathroom door, use some furniture to funnel it to the front door and let it out that way. Unfortunately, the bear didn't cooperate with us and didn't want to come out of the bathroom," Werner said.

Noticing the bear was just a juvenile, and roughly 120 pounds, Werner figured he could use a catch pole.

It worked, but not before a stubborn, feisty struggle that ended with the bear released outside, unharmed. Video from Shane Geyger shows the bear being unwillingly removed from the home.

"I've dealt with wolves and bobcats and other animals that have been caught in traps and helped release those, but as far as releasing a bear from a house, this is a first," says Werner with a smile.

Bear encounters are increasing at this time of year as adults go in search of a mate and cubs are sent off to venture on their own. The Wisconsin DNR estimated there were 23,200 black bears in the state last fall.