Fact Check

Are Polar Bears Roaming Michigan?

Rumor: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has issued a warning about polar bears roaming that state from Canada.

Published Feb 23, 2015

Claim: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has issued a warning about polar bears romaing that state from Canada.


Example: [Collected via Facebook, February 2015]

Origins: In February 2015, an image began circulating via Facebook that supposedly depicted a warning issued by the Michigan Department of National Resources (DNR) about polar bears roaming that state after having crossed over from Canada in search of food.

There was no warning about an influx of polar bears posted on the Michigan DNR's web site or Facebook page, and the image was easily dismissed as a piece of poorly executed Photoshop.
Polar bears are arctic animals that live in the northernmost parts of Canada, Greenland, Russia, and Norway. The only state in the United States that regularly provides a home to polar bears is Alaska:

The fake warning about polar bears claimed that the arctic animals were crossing into Michigan from Canada over a frozen Lake Erie, but this is not a very direct route for hungry ursines to take, as Lake Erie touches Michigan only in the state's southeast corner. If Canadian polar bears truly wanted to feast on unsuspecting Michiganders, the more direct path would be for them to cross Lake Huron or Lake Superior into the Upper Peninsula.

Last updated: 23 February 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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