South metro fields flurry of bear sightings

Bear wounded in Savage has traveled east, the DNR says, but it isn’t a danger for now. A different bear has been spotted in Woodbury.

The black bear shot and wounded by Savage police in late May isn’t on the state Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) most-wanted list and isn’t likely to be killed unless it becomes a nuisance or a public safety hazard, even after another round of sightings this week, officials said Tuesday.

DNR Capt. Greg Salo said that although the young male has been sighted multiple times in Eagan and Burnsville since Sunday, the agency hopes it just moves on — and out of the metro area — by itself.

The most important thing people can do is this: “Bring the garbage in, bring in the barbecue grill, the bird feeder,” Salo said. “Take the food source away. If you don’t and they stay in the metro, they’re going to become habituated to humans. Once we hit that point, they become a public safety threat and … the bear is put down.”

Eagan police said dispatchers fielded four bear sightings on Tuesday, the last at 10:36 a.m. near Cliff and Johnny Cake Ridge roads. About 11:45 p.m. Monday, an Eagan officer spotted it near Slater and Rusten roads.

Police said the bear has not exhibited any aggressive behavior. And Salo said it’s not likely to be more aggressive because it was wounded in a rear leg.

“Quite honestly, a lot of animals survive with leg injuries,” he said. “My advice is let it be. The DNR is not out looking for this bear. We’re hoping it moves on on its own.”

Several bear sightings have been reported in Woodbury in recent days; authorities say that’s a different bear.

Five or six bears are spotted in the metro area each year, mostly in the spring; most are young males, searching for their own territory after coming out of winter hibernation and being chased off by other bears. The bears feed at night out of garbage cans or bird feeders and have nowhere to go to sleep off the feast during the day.

“It may sound like a ton of bears in the metro, but really we’ve dealt with the same number as last year, three or four. But one bear … can make it sound like there’s 12,” Salo said.

Burnsville police said the bear was sighted Sunday night near Interstate 35E. It was gone by the time officers arrived, police said. Before that, it was seen Thursday afternoon behind a Kwik Trip gas station on Hwy. 42 and Vernon Avenue in Savage.

The male bear, between 150 and 200 pounds and about 18 months old, had been seen several times over the Memorial Day weekend in Savage, including May 23 in the packed Town and Country Campground. After that sighting, police shot and wounded the bear in a nearby neighborhood because it was so close to campers.

Salo said a bear isn’t likely to be aggressive unless it’s cornered and has no way out, such as being trapped in a tree with gawkers below.

“I don’t know of any instance where somebody was killed by a black bear,” he said. “We’ve had encounters with a mother and cubs, but that’s an entirely different situation. Bears don’t actively hunt humans.”

Salo said back in 1985, the DNR had to kill 400 bears statewide because of nuisance or aggressive behavior. Last year, that number was 25. The huge drop is likely due to education efforts.

“What we’ve tried to do is educate people on removing those food sources and just enjoy the bear,” he said. “Just because a bear is walking through your back yard, it is not a safety threat. You go north of the metro an hour and people live with bears in their back yards all the time.”

At the same time, the DNR cautions that bears should always be treated as wild animals capable of inflicting serious harm.

“The best way to resolve human-bear conflicts is to do everything possible to avoid them in the first place,” said Cynthia Osmundson, the DNR’s central region wildlife manager.

 

pat.pheifer@startribune.com 952-746-3284 paul.wash@startribune.com 612-673-4482

  • related content

  • An Eagan police officer's squad car dash cam captured this grainy image of a black bear early Tuesday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati 2 Bottom 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 3
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 17 3rd Qtr 5:10
(2) Alabama 27
Rice 10 3rd Qtr 0:17
(17) Notre Dame 38
(10) South Dakota St 18 4th Qtr
(24) Missouri 28
Fla Atlantic 7 3rd Qtr 6:41
(22) Nebraska 45
California 31 3rd Qtr 2:06
Northwestern 21
Marshall 28 3rd Qtr 4:49
Miami-Ohio 13
UC Davis 0 3rd Qtr 9:45
(11) Stanford 38
Arkansas 21 3rd Qtr 10:42
(6) Auburn 28
(16) Clemson 7 1st Qtr 6:11
(12) Georgia 7
Liberty 0 1st Qtr 13:48
(23) North Carolina 0
Ohio U 0 1st Qtr 14:12
Kent State 0
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 2 2nd Half
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close