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Black bear killed in SE Minnesota after it became 'aggressive'

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Officials in southeastern Minnesota were forced to euthanize a black bear that became aggressive towards authorities.

The Fillmore County Sheriff's Office was called to a Chatfield home around 9 p.m. Sunday after someone spotted a bear, according to reports.

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A 200-pound adult male black bear was in a tree at the home when officers arrived, and they used lights and noise to get the bear down, the Winona Daily News reports.

But the animal wouldn't leave the area like most bears would have, and it "got a little aggressive, barking and popping its teeth," Mitch Boyum, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, told the Rochester Post Bulletin.

Officials said they couldn't just let the bear be, because it could have wandered into town or caused other problems, with Boyum noting they didn't want to shoot him but it was their safest option, the paper adds.

WCCO says both a DNR officer and a sheriff’s deputy shot the bear simultaneously.

This wasn't the first time someone in the area had complained about a bear, with the sheriff's office telling ABC 6 they've gotten calls about bears in their backyard and on porches over the past few days.

Officials believe it was probably the same bear that was killed Sunday, the Winona Daily News reports.

One resident snapped this photo:

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Black bears in Minnesota

Black bears are the only species of bear in Minnesota, according to the DNR, and generally live in forested areas in the central and northeastern parts of the state (see the map at right).

Conflicts between people and bears is rare because the animals generally try to avoid people. But these incidents have increased in recent years as more people build homes and cabins in northern Minnesota, the DNR says.

Contact between humans and bears usually comes when the animal is looking for food, according to the DNR. And when the bear finds it, the animal usually returns there regularly.

This can become a problem for residents, which is why the DNR offers tips to prevent "problem bears" on its website. Click here for more.

In a news release this spring, the DNR said it doesn't relocate "problem bears" because the animals rarely stay where they're released. The bears may return to where they were captured or become a problem elsewhere, the agency noted.

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