BEAR WATCH: Wounded wandering black bear spotted again in Eagan - KMSP-TV

BEAR WATCH: Wounded wandering black bear spotted again in Eagan

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Eagan, Minn. Eagan, Minn.
Savage, Minn. Savage, Minn.
EAGAN, Minn. (KMSP) -

From Savage to Burnsville, the elusive, wounded wandering black bear has been spotted again in the Twin Cities, this time, in Eagan.

Eagan police said the bear was caught on camera at the intersection of Slater Road and Tiffany Court near Super America early Tuesday morning. Police said there is no threat to residents, but if you see the bear, don’t approach it. Instead, head indoors and call 911.

Minnesota Department of Natural resources officials believe it's the same bear that’s made its way through Savage and Burnsville, initially spotted on May 23. The bear is believed to be about 18 months old and could weigh up to 200 pounds.

Eagan police released a photo of the bear via their Twitter account, spotted on James Street shortly after its initial appearance near the Super America.

WOUNDED IN SAVAGE, SUNDAY IN BURNSVILLE

On Sunday, June 1, the bear was spotted near 134th Street and Parkwood Avenue, however, by the time officers arrived, the bear had wandered elsewhere. The bear’s back left leg appeared to be injured, Burnsville police said.

Officials with the Minnesota DNR said the bear was shot and wounded on Friday, May 23 in Savage.

WHAT TO DO


The Minnesota DNR offered the following advice:

If you see a bear, call 911 and leave it alone. Standing around gawking is risky and may cause the bear to head up a tree. If it is in a tree, remove people and pets from the area. While bear attacks on humans in Minnesota are rare, they're still wild animals and capable of inflicting serious harm.

Bear sightings in Twin Cities suburbs actually aren't that uncommon, especially in the spring. Most bears are young males searching for their own territory after hibernation and being chased off by their parents. They typically move to an area with few people, but sometimes wind up in a heavily populated area.

WHY YOU CALL POLICE

DNR Capt. Greg Salo said shooting a bear with a tranquilizer dart, then transporting it elsewhere is mostly Hollywood fiction, and sometimes shooting a bear is "the only real option."

Here's why:

-Chemical immobilization requires special equipment, training and access to controlled substances. Most DNR staff don’t have that.

-The effect of the tranquilizer is not immediate, so a darted bear could run into a crowd or a busy street before passing out.

-Finding a suitable place for relocation can be a challenge. Once a bear is habituated to human derived food, it is likely to repeat this feeding behavior if released elsewhere.

-Sometimes bears don’t recover from the tranquilizing

“A public safety threat is a public safety threat, whether it’s a guy wielding a knife or a startled or frightened large mammal with big teeth and sharp claws in a neighborhood with lots of kids,” said Capt. Greg Salo. “Your first call should be to the local police department. No one likes to see these animals killed just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but sometimes that’s the only real option.”



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