bear cub

American black bears can be beautiful — but they can also be destructive.  This bear cub was one of three siblings photographed in 2017 by Lisa Timm near Knife Lake. 

 

With bears emerging from hibernation in the coming weeks, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds homeowners to check their property for food sources that could attract bears.  

“To avoid season-long problems, take the time now to remove or secure anything that could attract a bear,” said Eric Nelson, wildlife damage program supervisor for the DNR. “Prevention is key. Once a bear finds a food source, it will likely return.”

As bears emerge from hibernation, their metabolism gradually ramps up and they will begin looking for food at a time when berries and green vegetation are scarce. Home and cabin owners should remove or secure attractants such as birdseed, garbage, livestock feed, or compost to reduce potential conflict.

Black bears are the only bear species that live in the wild in Minnesota. Bears are more common in the forested region of northern Minnesota, but can live anywhere in the state if they find an area of suitable habitat. They usually are shy and flee when encountered. 

Never approach or try to pet a bear. Injury to people is rare, but bears are potentially dangerous because of their size, strength and speed.

People should be cautious around bears and give them space. If bear problems persist after cleaning up food sources, contact a DNR area wildlife office for advice.

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