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Despite High Profile Cases, Bear Attacks Rare In MN

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(credit: CBS) Laura Oakes
Laura Oakes started her career with WCCO Radio in 1996, working...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Bear attacks and mauling incidents are in the news all too often recently — 7 attacks in 5 states in the past week, seemingly unprovoked.

But the chances of coming face to face with one in Minnesota are thankfully pretty slim.

In a land of 20,000 black bears, Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Karen Noyce says attacks are extremely rare. When they do occur, typically involve the bear’s nemesis: the family dog.

Noyce says dogs will often chase bears, who will then chase the dog back to its home, oftentimes encountering an unexpected human.

Noyce says even females with cubs or startled bears may threaten a human, but will very rarely attack.

A McGregor, Minn. woman was attacked and injured by a black bear earlier this summer, a situation the DNR says involved both a dog and nearby cubs.

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