Skip to main content

Black bear in Ely park attracts a crowd

Police say this is a good reminder to leave bears alone.
A bear climbed a tree in Whiteside Park in Ely. 

A bear climbed a tree in Whiteside Park in Ely. 

If you see a bear, it's best to leave it alone. 

That's the message the Ely Police Department is sending after a bear caused a scene in Whiteside Park Wednesday evening.

According to the department's Facebook post, at about 7 p.m. Wednesday, officers were dispatched to a bear in a tree at the park. 

"This event was causing a traffic hazard due to vehicles stopping in the roadway. Additionally, people would approach the tree to take photographs," the post said. 

Officers taped off the area and Lake County Sheriff's Office and Ely Public Works assisted in traffic control. 

The bear, a short time later, climbed down the tree and left the park. 

But the situation wasn't over. Police say they got a call that children followed the bear, causing it to climb another tree. Eventually, the bear climbed down and left the area. 

"A good lesson here is to leave the bear alone and watch from a distance. This will keep everyone safe," the post said. 

The bear in this situation appeared young, but wasn't a cub, Ely Police Chief Chad Houde told BMTN. No one was injured and no damage was caused by the bear.

Ely is in the heart of Minnesota's black bear country, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which includes the northern third of the state.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The city gets occasional visits from bears, but "it is rare for a bear to be in the middle of town during the day," Houde said. 

Usually, they'll see bears in the spring when they're coming out of hibernation and are searching for food. They'll stick toward the outskirts of town or are spotted in town at night. 

"There was one other bear call earlier this summer of a large black bear walking through Whiteside Park. On that call, the bear quickly walked through town and went back into the woods," Houde said.

Black bears – Minnesota's only species of bear – often spend their time in areas of dense cover, like forests and swamps, but will venture into clearings and farther south, outside of their typical range, when looking for food, the Minnesota DNR says. In fact, black bears have been spotted in Litchfield and downtown St. Paul this spring and summer. 

There are roughly 12,000-15,000 black bears in Minnesota, the DNR says

Next Up

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

image

FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

image

State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.

image

Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.

covid

COVID levels rising in wastewater; BQ.1 now dominant

BQ.1 is the new dominant subvariant in Twin Cities wastewater.

Related

bear rescue 1

Black bear rescued from storm sewer in Oak Park Heights

Police were originally called to the scene because someone thought a large dog was trapped in the sewer.

A black bear.

Sheriff's office sees 'significant' increase in bear complaints recently

Natural food sources have been slim, so bears are finding alternatives provided by humans.

A black bear.

Several bear sightings reported in Woodbury neighborhood

Residents are asked to remove their bird feeders and be patient for the bear to move on.

bear union depot

Photos: A bear wandered around Union Depot in St. Paul

Bears do occasionally make their way to the Twin Cities.

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."

Big black bear spotted in Burnsville yard

Don't let your kids and pets off on their own in the area.

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.

giant bear

Video: 'THE fattest bear we have ever seen' spotted on MN trail camera

"This might be THE fattest bear we have ever seen in our area," researchers said.