State DNR says bears starting to emerge from hibernation


While winter doesn't appear to be behind us with all the snow of late, it's that time of year where bears are starting to emerge from hibernation, The Associated Press reports.

A bear researcher for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Grand Rapids said in a press release that there's no need for people to be alarmed by the emergence of the bears initially, but should be aware that they will soon be looking for food.

"Spring can be a tough time of year for some bears," Karen Noyce said. "As they emerge hibernation, they are not immediately hungry, but over the following week, their metabolism ramps up and they will begin looking for food."

Noyce said with with the scarcity of berries and vegetation this time of year, "bears may be tempted by dog food, livestock feed, birdseed, compost or garbage."

The DNR said bear sightings are most common in the northern part of the state, but bears can also be found in some cities farther south.

Jeff Lightfoot, the DNR's Northeastern regional wildlife manager, says people who live near bear habitats should remove food that attracts the creatures. Ultimately, he said, it resolves problems much more effectively than attempting to trap and destroy bears.

Lightfoot also noted that bears are usually shy and flee when encountered, but you should still take precautions.

"Never approach or try to pet a bear. They are unpredictable wild animals," Lightfoot said. "Injury to people is rare, but bears are potentially dangerous because of their size, strength and speed."

Next Up

ballot voting vote

Appeals court changes rules for MN absentee ballots received after Election Day

Pending a further challenge, votes received after 8 p.m. on Election Day may not be counted.

Donald Trump

Confusion over where Trump campaign rally will be held Friday

It sounds like it'll be held at the airport in Rochester.

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 3.19.05 PM

This video of the Lowry Hill Tunnel walls being cleaned is oddly satisfying

The tunnel will be closed overnight Thursday for cleaning.

gray wolf

Gray wolf removed from the endangered species list

A decision on whether they can be hunted in Minnesota will come later.

covid saliva test

Minnesota opening its 7th saliva testing location in St. Paul

The tests are free and open to anyone regardless of if they have symptoms.

pete stauber - qunn nystrom CD8

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

It's a race between incumbent Rep. Pete Stauber and Democratic challenger Quinn Nystrom.

fire, flames

Lives saved as passerby, city workers rescue from 3 from Golden Valley fire

The Golden Valley Fire Department responded to the fire Wednesday morning.

Caribou Coffee Holiday 2020

Caribou Coffee rolls out holiday cups, menu early

The holiday season is underway at some Twin Cities stores, with a nationwide rollout planned for Nov. 5.

Malik Beasley

Charges: Timberwolves' Beasley pointed assault rifle at family on a home tour

The family was on the Parade of Homes tour when Beasley allegedly pointed the gun at them, telling them to get off his property.


Minnesota scientists discover hibernating bears have surprising healing ability

Researchers tracking bears with radio collars noticed that animals with serious wounds often emerge from hibernation with no scars or signs of infection. Medical scientists hope the bears will help us learn how to better treat our own wounds.

Post-hibernation bears breakfasting at birdfeeders, barbecues

It's that tricky time of year when hungry bears have come out of hibernation but there aren't many berries yet. Nuisance bear reports have come not just from northern Minnesota but from Twin Cities suburbs, too. The animals can be attracted to livestock feed, garbage, dog food, or bird seed.