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An Albertville father says he shot a bear with his hunting rifle to protect his daughter who was playing in the backyard.
The Wright County Sheriff's Office got a call Tuesday night about a bear that had come all the way up to a sliding glass door in an Albertville neighborhood, roughly 30 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
A deputy arrived and spotted the bear, but shortly thereafter heard a gunshot and saw the bear run toward the woods and collapse, the sheriff's office said in a statement. The deputy confirmed the bear was dead from the single gunshot wound.
Meanwhile, the man who shot the bear called the sheriff's office immediately to report it.
The statement says:
“The home owner contacted the Sheriff’s Office and advised that his daughter had been playing in the back yard when he observed the bear walk out of the woods towards his residence. Being fearful for his family’s safety the homeowner retrieved a hunting rifle and dispatched the bear.”
No charges were filed. Minnesota DNR and Wright County sheriff's officials determined no further action was needed and are not investigating further, KAAL reports.
State officials note that bears are typically not a threat to humans, but according to the DNR, homeowners can be justified in killing the animals if a bear is destroying property or appears to be a public safety threat, FOX 9 reports.
Minnesota black bears live primarily in the woods but do wander into cities and towns, state officials say. The DNR, which has more info here on bears and how to handle them, notes that human encounters with bears in Minnesota have become more common as more people move into bear habitat. Others have speculated that we are generally more aware of bears because of social media.
The DNR notes that the best way to deal with bears is to not attract them in the first place with food sources. The DNR also notes:
"Although some bears become used to people, they are still wild animals no matter how 'tame' they may appear. People must always be cautious around bears since they may react unpredictably."