DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — A Detroit Lakes area woman got quite a wildlife show as she glanced out her living room window over the Memorial Day weekend about six miles north of Detroit Lakes near Little Floyd Lake.
A black bear was wandering around her deck Sunday afternoon only feet away from Johanne Pardiac, who watched the 2-year-old male bear from the other side of the picture window.
“Our deck is on the second floor, so it’s probably 12 or 15 feet in the air,” said Pardiac, who says she grabbed her cell phone and began getting photos.
“I thought…my husband will never believe me,” she laughed, adding that her husband, Dr. Francis Cormier, was golfing and had just text her a photo of a wild turkey he had seen. This certainly proved to be a one-upper.
Pardiac watched as the bear began thinking about climbing back down a pole of the deck, but then spotted the bird feeder.
“So he went over there and took a swipe at it with his paw, and the bottom of the bird feeder opened up and the food went all over the ground,” said Pardiac. “So then he just kind of climbed down and laid there on the ground and ate in peace.”
Pardiac says she loved watching the young bear, who hung around their place approximately 10 minutes that afternoon. She says he had made an appearance at their house earlier that morning and again that night.
“I suppose he was back looking for supper, but we took down the birdfeeder and called the DNR,” said Pardiac, “and they said we had done exactly what needed to be done, and that is to remove all the food. They said he was probably just kicked out of mama’s den and is now looking for his own food for the first time.”
Pardiac owns JF Stables horse boarding, but she said DNR officials assured her the bear wouldn’t be interested in causing trouble with the horses.
“He would be more interested in dog food or garbage – things like that, so as long as we are responsible and remove any food source – because they can smell seven times better than a bloodhound – then we’ll be fine. In another couple of weeks the forest will begin to have more food for him, and he’ll stay there.”
This year is proving to be a little more active for bears wandering out of the woods and towards humans because the winter was short. Bears woke up a little earlier, but Mother Nature hasn’t had their forest food quite ready yet.
Pardiac says this is the first time in the nine years they’ve lived in that location that they’ve ever seen a bear.
“We’ve seen wild turkeys, deer, all sorts of animals – but never a bear,” she said, “I loved it – he was beautiful. He’s not looking to do any harm, he’s just looking for food. It’s wildlife, and this is why we live here.”