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Bear killed in West St. Paul; may be same one spotted around metro

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A black bear was shot and killed in West St. Paul this morning – and police say it could be the same animal that's been hanging out around the metro recently, KARE 11 reports.

According to WCCO, police began tracking the bear Saturday morning, and hoped to tranquilize the animal as it made its way toward the St. Paul border.

The bear reportedly had an injured back leg – which would give credence to the theory that it's the same bear officers shot in Savage just over a week ago. That animal was also possibly spotted in Burnsville a few days later.

WCCO says the bear Saturday morning became startled when people gathered to see what was going on, and police believed there was not enough time to call in a tranquilizer gun before the animal entered a more populated area.

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Authorities are not yet sure if it was indeed the same bear that had been spotted and shot before.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says bear sightings around the Twin Cities are not uncommon, especially in the spring when animals are coming out of hibernation. They are usually wary of people, the DNR says, but if someone spots a bear, they should keep their distance and call 911 right away to report the animal’s location.

Bear Tranquilized in Bemidji

On Friday, Bemidji police say they managed to successfully tranquilize a bear in Paul Bunyan Park near the famous Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statue.

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The bear reportedly became spooked by pedestrians in the area and ran north along the bicycle trail, along the west edge of Lake Bemidji.

Eventually, the bear laid down in a small wooded area between the lake and bicycle trail near the southeast corner of the Bemidji State University campus. The bear was in an isolated location, but police say they were concerned because of the number of pedestrians walking in the area – that includes a couple of parks and the Bemidji State University campus within a few blocks.

The Bemidji Police Department, working with a DNR conservation officer, a veterinarian and others, managed to set up a perimeter and tranquilize the bear. It was transported away, and released unharmed in a nearby sate forest, police say.

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