Several bear sightings have recently been reported throughout the north metro. Upon checking with area law enforcement agencies, most of the bear sightings are not reported in an official capacity to police, but rather shared on social media platforms. 

 

Report a bear sighting 

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is trying to keep track of Minnesota’s black bear range, which has been expanding southward and westward. If you see a black bear outside of its primary range (shown in black on the map), please report the information online at dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/bear/bear-sightings.html. Your name and contact information will not be made public. 

 

Living with bears in Minnesota

The black bear is an iconic species usually associated with Minnesota’s north woods. While they are common throughout the forested northern and central portions of the state, they can live throughout the state, and sometimes wander into cities and towns.

Black bears are naturally cautious animals that avoid human contact for their safety, but conflicts between people and bears can arise. To live peacefully with bears, humans play a part by being responsible for their behavior. We can prevent conflict and stay safe, at home and while exploring nature, by reducing the availability of bear attractants and preparing for bear encounters.  

 

Reduce bear conflicts 

by reducing attractants

Conflicts between people and bears have increased as more people build homes and cabins and recreate in northern and central Minnesota. Conflicts can arise when bears interact with domestic pets, tip over garbage cans, or damage bird feeders, personal property, beehives, livestock and agricultural crops.

The best way to avoid problems with bears is to not attract them in the first place. Once a bear finds a food source, it will return repeatedly. Bears prefer natural foods and are especially attracted to calorie-dense food sources. They have an incredible sense of smell, are opportunistic and are easily attracted to foods or food sources provided by humans (including things like dog food, birdseed and grease).

 

Bear attractants are things that smell, taste or look like food to bears. These include birdseed, dog food, grease on grills, garbage, fish entrails and fruit. Taking the initiative to secure or remove attractants will help prevent bears from becoming a nuisance.

 

Did you know?

Bears can consume 12,000-20,000 calories a day to prepare for hibernation. That’s the equivalent of 6-7 pounds of black oil sunflower seed or about 700-800 acorns.

Additional resources

For more information on bear population management or how to coexist with bears, visit:

 

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 

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