A jogger maintained social distance — and then some — Sunday morning before reporting that a bear was roaming near the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.
Someone who lives near the campus flagged down a St. Thomas security member about 7:55 a.m. and said there was a black bear near Summit Monument Park along Mississippi River Boulevard, a school spokeswoman said. That's just to the west of campus.
By the time the security officer got to the scene, he believed he caught a glimpse of the back end of the bear as it headed toward the woods near the river, the spokeswoman said.
The officer advised the jogger to contact animal control for the St. Paul Police Department.
This is at least the third bear sighting reported in St. Paul since mid-June. The state Department of Natural Resources maintains a web page for people to report when they have seen a bear. It says there was one bear spotted along Battle Creek on June 14 and another downtown on June 18 in the Union Depot parking ramp.
According to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), there have been no documented human fatalities attributed to a bear in Minnesota. Since 1987, there have been eight unprovoked bear attacks in Minnesota that resulted in the hospitalization of 10 people. All fully recovered, the agency said.
Anyone who encounters a bear should first back away slowly, make enough noise to scare the animal and give it an escape route, the DNR said.
People should also clean and remove bird feeders, garbage and compost bins to reduce the chance of bears moving into developed and residential areas.