The City of Middleton is advising residents of two bear sightings Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to the advisory, Middleton residents reported seeing a black bear swimming in Lake Mendota at approximately 6:06 a.m. June 2. The bear was then on land near the 2300 block of Middleton Beach Road and eventually went into a wooded area where the Department of Natural Resources staff arrived to assist.
They determined that the bear should be left alone and that it would likely leave the area by this evening.
Since releasing this initial information, a resident contacted the Police Department and advised that she saw the bear at approximately 5 a.m. June 1. At that time the bear was seen in the Pheasant Branch Conservancy north of Century Avenue in the area behind Highland Way.
Additional short video clips can be found on the Middleton Police Department social media sites.
According to the DNR, bears are normally shy around humans and avoid them as much as possible. It is important to reinforce this fear by scaring bears away so that conflicts are reduced.
If you see a bear:
- Place yourself in a secure area so the bear has a clear escape path. Make a lot of noise by yelling, honking a car horn, or banging pots and pans.
- Install motion-activated water sprinklers, lights or alarms.
The DNR advises people to never approach a bear. Bears are generally afraid of people, and aggressive behavior is rare. However, a bear will be defensive when protecting their young or a food source. Bears can also become agitated if they are startled. Most of the time a bear will avoid confrontation, but if they become aggressive, here are the proper steps to take:
-Talk to the bear or start shouting if it does not leave.
-Raise arms above your head and wave them to appear larger than you are.
-Do not run Slowly back away and do not turn your back on the bear.
- Always leave an escape route for the bear.
-Do not lie down and play dead. Fight back if attacked.
The public is asked to report any additional bear sightings when it is safe to do so by calling or texting the City of Middleton at (608) 824-7300 or 911, or contact the DNR at (888) 936-7463.