A black bear was spotted early Thursday in a Burnsville residential neighborhood, authorities said.
Photos from a resident and released by the city show the bear walking in front of a home and at one point standing behind a tree on Rushmore Court south of County Road 42 and east of Lac Lavon Drive.
“The bear did not seem to be agitated or aggressive,” a statement from the city read. “However, people in this area are asked to be vigilant of their surroundings, and not leave pets or small children unattended.”
The bear was last seen entering a heavily wooded area about 5:30 a.m., the city added.
Anyone who notices the bear turning ornery should call 911, the statement continued.
The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says that Minnesota’s black bear range has been slowly expanding southward and westward from a large swath cutting diagonally and down from northwestern Minnesota to northeast of the Twin Cities.
Earlier this month, the DNR introduced a new web page to track that expansion and invited the public to help document bear sightings (http://bit.ly/bear-sighting). The map on the page shows several sightings in various suburbs through the metro area, with most in the northern reaches of Anoka and Washington counties but at least five to the south in Dakota County.
“It’s not unusual for us to have these this time of year,” said Bob Fashingbauer, DNR wildlife supervisor in Dakota County.
Fashingbauer described the bear seen in Burnsville as “your average couple-of-years-old bear. It’s not huge by any means, but it’s an adult-sized bear.”