There’s a large black bear hanging around a rural residential area near Vita. 

Belinda Kerda says it has become a normal thing for them to be dealing with the bear. Although she’s not certain, Kerda believes it’s the same bear that returns each spring. 

“He makes a beeline for my bird feeders and the hooks,” she says. “It’s got to be the same guy. It’s not like he’s wandering around.” 

Kerda notes they have the garbage locked up so there’s no food around to attract the bear. But the bird feeders seem to be enough to get the bear's attention.

Black bear standing at the bird feeder.Belinda Kerda has to be diligent in removing bird feeders when the bears are looking around for food, usually in spring before the berries are ready. (Photo Credit: Belinda Kerda)

She has taken to removing the bird feeders each evening at supper time and putting the back in the morning, to see if the bear’s nighttime visits would end. 

Kerda says that does help a bit, but Yogi, as she has affectionately named him, figures out her plan and starts showing up during the middle of the day to enjoy the buffet that’s meant for the birds. 

She jokes that maybe it would be helpful to set out a picnic basket, maybe Yogi would just take that and move on. 

Black bears are found throughout Manitoba and this Yogi seems to like the Vita/Stuartburn area. Kerda has also had a visit from a mama bear with her cub during the fall season. 

She appreciates living in the country and respects wildlife. Sometimes though, it can be a bit unnerving when a large black bear comes close to the house. 

“We have called Conservation and asked for them to come out and trap them. But they, so far, have never been able to find the time or the equipment. It’s used quite a lot apparently. I can’t even get mad at Conservation. I get frustrated because sometime in August they’ll say, ‘Okay, we have the trap free.’ And well, now I haven’t seen him in a month.” 

A large black bear in the night.Belinda Kerda says Yogi is a big black bear who likes to hang around their yard in the rural area near Vita. (Photo Credit: Belinda Kerda)

A black bear was spotted last week in Steinbach, in the industrial park on the west side of the city. It quickly left when it realized people were nearby.

Two years ago, a mama bear and her three cubs visited Josie Brandt's yard, a few miles south of La Broquerie. (See video below).

Three years ago, a black bear was spotted on Main Street in downtown Steinbach. That bear had been tranquillized and taken away by Manitoba Conservation.

Bears usually avoid areas with human activity unless they are looking for food. Conservation encourages people to take down bird feeders until November and to lock up garbage, especially in rural areas. 

-With files from Carly Koop.