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Bear Not Impressed with South Dakota; Departure Lowers Fence Prices?

Brain drain? What about bear drain? The bear that came over from Minnesota to check out Wilmot appears to have decided South Dakota isn’t for him:

A bear that showed up in northern South Dakota this week is slowly making its way out of the area.

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department District Supervisor Jamie Pekelder told KELOLAND News officials are monitoring the bear and have received calls about its location throughout the week. It was first seen in rural Wilmot in Roberts County of Tuesday and photographed in a tree near Twin Brooks by April Mathison on Thursday.

“It’s moving in the right direction,” said Pekelder, who noted the bear was north of Milbank as of noon on Friday [Eric Mayer, “Bear Still in Northern South Dakota, But Moving Out of the Area,” KELO-TV, 2019.05.31].

Bear checks out housing options in South Dakota. Photo by April Mathison; screen cap from KELO-TV, 2019.05.31.
Bear checks out housing options in South Dakota. Photo by April Mathison; screen cap from KELO-TV, 2019.05.31.

The bear is leaving even though local residents and state officials are treating the bear with more courtesy and consideration than they treat other newcomers and minorities in South Dakota:

“We watched it in the tree for a while,” Pekelder said. “We gave it plenty of room. Backed away from the area and it came out of the tree by itself and moved along” [Mayer, 2019.05.31].

On the good side, the bear’s apparent departure will allow Governor Noem to lower South Dakota’s threat level back to FENCE-CON 4. Removing bear-proofing from her mansion fence plan should lower the price at least $100K.


  1. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-01

    Maybe, Bearcreekbat, the school sentinel law deterred the bear. After all, he appears not to have come here until school was out.

    Then again, no schools in northeast South Dakota have adopted the sentinel program.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-01

    But hey, Betsy, even this bear appears not to warrant an armed response.

  3. mike from iowa 2019-06-01

    Smart bear, but like many another visitor was unimpressed with wingnut rule and decided to spend tourism bucks at home. Doesn’t appear to be wearing a wedding ring so it must be an Obama Muslim adherent.

  4. 96Tears 2019-06-01

    How much money does a bear tail bring in through Empress Kristi’s varmint killin’ program? I ain’t goin’ out there for 50 cents!

  5. Loren 2019-06-01

    He wouldn’t stay even tho we have a lower cost of living? Must be attracted by something else. ;-)

  6. Terry Woster 2019-06-01

    I think there’s a pretty stiff tariff on bear gall bladders.

  7. Buckobear 2019-06-01

    Bear realized that even though our taxes are low, we don’t get much for them.
    Bon Voyage Brother

  8. mike from iowa 2019-06-01

    Not necessarily on black market deals, at least I would imagine the black market operates outside legal avenues.

  9. Debbo 2019-06-01

    Y’all have been imbibing too much bear gall bladder, fermented, I suppose. 😋😋😋😋

  10. mike from iowa 2019-06-01

    Bear bile has been a popular ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine for 3,000 years. [1] It has been used to cure various ailments, such as fever, gall stones, liver problems, heart disease, and eye irritation. The active ingredient in bear bile is ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), which is more abundant in the bile of bears than in any other mammal. [2] Bile is excreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, where it is released into the stomach to aid in digestion. [3] The average bear produces 2 kilograms of dry bile powder per year. The price of bear bile varies by location, but investigators have found that bile sells for about US$410 per kilogram in China, an average wild bear gall bladder sells for US$33 per gram in Japan, and a whole bear gallbladder sells for about US$10,000 in South Korea. [4] Because there is now a surplus of bear bile, bear farmers have begun producing shampoo, wine, tea, and throat lozenges containing bile.

    The prices paid for bile should make you puke if the bile itself doesn’t.

    My advice is run, bear, run.

  11. Betty Sheldon 2019-06-01

    How will the bear know when it reaches Minnesota?

  12. John 2019-06-02

    Betty: Triple A. ;-)

    Hat tip to Jamie Pekelder and his officers for not gunning down the bear. Perhaps the GFP culture IS changing from the days of shooting docile moose. Black bears are one of natures most docile mammals – rarely attacking humans unless the person poses a threat to cubs.

    There are wild black bears in New Jersey! Florida! There is no reason to not re-introduce them to South Dakota. The Black Hills and Custer National Forests could easily support reintroduced populations. GFP reintroduced the elk, the big horn sheep, the mountain goats, why not the black bear?!

  13. Sam2 2019-06-02

    Bear is moving back to Minnesota where the liberals will provide him with all his needs. Had to find his own food in South Dakota.

  14. mike from iowa 2019-06-02

    Bears are omnivorous, which means they are Drumpfistas. They can and do swallow any garbage fed them.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-02

    Bears are most certainly varmints under state law. The bear could probably pay for a ticket back to Minnesota if he caught some raccoon, striped skunk, opossum, red fox, and badger, ate the rest but brought the tails to one of those GF&P conservation officers tracking him. Heck, he’d get $10 a tail and probably a medal from Kristi.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-02

    Betty: Brother Bear will notice the trails are wider and less bumpy, and he won’t have to pay sales tax on berries and grubs.

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