More northern bears bring renewed safety warning: Don't approach!


That bear may look cute, but keep your distance.

That's the renewed warning from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The Northland's News Center in Duluth reported the reminder comes as people are spotting bears meandering into the city. This year, Duluth residents watched a bear hanging out in the courtyard at city hall, and police rolled video on another one in a garbage dumpster in Hermantown.

"We tell them to stay away from the bears," said Lt. Chad Nagorski with the Duluth Police Department, noting that bears who come around places populated by people are typically on the hunt for food. They stressed the importance of keeping bird feeders and garbage cans secured, around homes or campsites.

Earlier this week, the Brainerd Dispatch reported that a horse owner around Wadena reported his horse had been attacked and injured by another animal. "After looking around the property the likely suspect is a bear," the story said. 

Earlier this summer, the Duluth News Tribune published the weekly DNR Report that noted that "nuisance bear reports have significantly increased...in both in the Ely area and inside the BWCAW. " Officers reminded campers to remove not only food items but also to secure "food smelling items such as honey lip balm, or cherry scented sun screen."

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Public Radio broadcast a story about the problem of nuisance bears in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. A meeting in the northern Wisconsin village was held earlier this month to discuss the approach to take to address bears roaming through the town's main street and in residential backyards.

The story noted that nine bears were trapped in the village last year, and trapping for this year is currently underway.

The village is considering recruiting hunters during the bear season, which begins Sept. 9 and allowing the use of firearms on village property. Another option is to issue nuisance shooting permits to target problem bears, lure them into an area and euthanize them.

Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf and Wildlife said they would like to see the village focus on prevention.

A DNR specialist said Grantsburg is within the portion of the state where the department is trying to reduce the population through a hunt or harvest.

Earlier this month, a new study led by University of Minnesota researchers said that drones flying near black bears caused the animals' heart rates to soar. The Los Angeles Times published the findings from a research study in the journal Current Biology.

The story noted that the study may cause the rethinking of using the unmanned aerial vehicle to track animals in habitats that humans might not be able to access.

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