Bear clambers into northern Minnesota home through kitchen window

A black bear in the house isn't something you see every day.
Publish date:

When a black bear ambles into your yard, wildlife experts say to keep your distance and let the bear be until it moves on. If it approaches, make loud noises to try to scare it off.

But that's a bit harder to do when the bear is literally inside your home.

Some Ely residents were shocked last week to find a black bear in their house, the Minnesota DNR said in its weekly report. Conservation Officer Sean Williams responded, and learned the black bear had actually entered through a kitchen window while the residents were home.

The folks living there were able to safely guide the bear back outside, at which point they called for help.

Related: Why conditions in Minnesota are ripe for more bear-human conflicts

However, once outside, the DNR said it "showed no fear of them or vehicles." A lookover of the property also found no attractants — human-provided food sources such as birdfeeders or dumpsters. C.O. Williams noted there was "no explanation for the bear's boldness."

Black bears are the only bear species in the state. They're usually wary of humans, but will happily feed on treats humans leave out and available, particularly if conditions mean there is a shortage of natural food available.

But as Williams noted, the bolder the black bears are, the greater the chance for a "negative encounter." These often result in the DNR having to shoot and kill the bear. 

Prevention is the best course, Andrew Tri, bear project lead with the agency, recently told Bring Me The News, and more effective than having to respond after a bear begins to see a backyard as a food source.

"If people aren’t careful and secure their attractants before a bear finds them, then a bear gets a 'food reward' and knows that this house or cabin had some tasty treats and will keep coming back until the food source is gone," he said. 

The DNR has some guidelines for safely coexisting with bears here.

Next Up

police tape

Victims of triple homicide near La Crosse identified as young men

The victims are ages 24, 24 and 23, respectively.

Screen Shot 2021-07-25 at 7.26.01 AM

Dive team finds body of missing 13-year-old girl in Chanhassen lake

The girl had last been seen on a float on Lake Minnewashta.

Fairmont Raceway

MN race track under fire after announcer's racist remarks

The Fairmont Raceway voiced support for the announcer on social media.

Grayson Murray

Grayson Murray criticizes PGA Tour after pulling out of 3M Open

After withdrawing with a knee injury, Murray unloaded on his Twitter account.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Minneapolis residents will vote on replacing MPD with new public safety department

The Minneapolis City Council approved language for the ballot question Friday.

Jack Peart

Wild drafts Minnesota Mr. Hockey winner in 2nd round of NHL Draft

Grand Rapids defenseman Jack Peart was selected with the 54th overall pick.

Juan Hernangomez

Timberwolves block Juancho Hernangomez from playing in Olympics

The Timberwolves forward suffered a shoulder injury during training.

Screen Shot 2021-07-24 at 9.03.55 AM

Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams post 'Last Dance' pics as they seek Packers exit

Their efforts to leave the Packers are becoming increasingly acrimonious.

Screen Shot 2021-07-24 at 8.59.23 AM

Police arrest suspect after killing at Burnsville hotel

The shooting occurred Friday night near Aldrich Avenue and Burnsville Parkway.

Line 3 protest

Line 3 activists win restraining order against Hubbard Co. sheriff

The dispute is over a local property used by protesters.


Flickr - black bear walking fence line - Dan Ox

DNR: Property owner complains about black bear, refuses to take down feeders

A lesson in what not to do if a black bear comes into your yard.

Pixabay - black bear

Why conditions in Minnesota are ripe for more bear-human conflicts

A one-two punch of a May frost and dry spell could lead to a natural food shortage.

A Black Bear wandering through grass.

More bear sightings reported in Twin Cities

All recent sightings have occurred in the eastern metro

chaska bear 2

A bear has been spotted wandering around Chaska

A neighbor said he didn't see the bear do much, adding it "looked lost if anything."

Flickr - Blue Jay healthy feeder - USFWS Midwest Region

As mystery illness spreads, should Minnesotans take down bird feeders?

The unexplained ailment has resulted in bird die-offs in the eastern U.S.

Pixabay - Crappie fish

MN DNR: Please call us if you find a large group of dead fish

The agency says hot weather might be contributing to recent die-offs.

Brent Cizek - great gray owl video screengrab

MN photographer's wintry great gray owl video earns praise from Audubon Society

The clip received an honorable mention in the 2021 Audubon Photography Awards.