Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Black bear sightings in the suburbs are rare, but neighbors in one south metro city are on the lookout.
That’s because a bear was seen roaming residential streets in Cottage Grove Wednesday morning. Police think it weighed as much as 250 pounds.
“I think it’s kind of cool,” said Debra Kummer, a resident.
Kummer was sound asleep early Wednesday morning when the bear ran right past her house on Isle Avenue. The proof that he was nearby can be found on police dash cam video.
“We’ve had deer walking right down the street…but a bear, ya, that’s a little different,” Kummer said.
Even stranger is where the bear ended up, as he seemed to make the rounds. Police saw him on Ivywood Avenue. But he was also reportedly at a couple local parks. And at one point, he was spotted hanging out behind a Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant.
“It’s a unique call. It will get the attention from the officers, especially at night,” said Sgt. Greg Brysky.
The bear sightings span a five-mile stretch across Cottage Grove, Brysky said, and calls came in throughout the day Wednesday.
Around 10 p.m. that night, officers watched the black bear walk into a wooded area. That was the last reported sighting.
The DNR thinks he just woke up from hibernating and is looking for food, and he might be a little confused.
“He’s covering some ground, I think, trying to get back to where he belongs, which, from what I understand, a lot of the bears walk the river valley,” Brysky said.
And while police advise staying away, they don’t think the bear is a threat to people.
Cottage Grove does have a lot of wooded areas around the city, and they have had a couple bear sightings in the past.