MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities family had an unexpected visitor this week.

“It’s not the first thing you expect to see in the morning,” said Bayport homeowner Jon Legato.

Legato got a call from his son, who was driving to work.

“He said, ‘I just saw a bear about a block west of the house,'” Legato said.

A few minutes later, his wife began yelling that the bear was in their backyard.

“I just grabbed my iPhone and started snapping pictures of him,” he said.

It looked like the animal was simply scavenging; searching for food that wasn’t there.

(credit: The Legato Family)

“He missed garbage day by a day. The cans were empty,” Legato said. “There wasn’t much there. No bird feeders here for him to snack on.”

The bear was actually spotted a number of times on Tuesday, walking along the St. Croix River and hanging out at Lakeside Park. Rhonda Wirtz was at the park with her dog, Hank.

“The patrolman came through and gave everyone a nice, little ‘watch out,'” Wirtz said.

Neighbors said they heard the bear lunged at a man and his dog.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says it’s likely the bear is an adolescent just trying to find its way.

There were also reports of bear sightings in Stillwater.

“It’s a smaller community, so I’ve been hearing from a lot of friends,” Legato said. “Everyone is interested in where it was and what was going on.”

The DNR said it’s not unusual for adolescent bears to wander through towns in the spring time, in search of food.

Where there are sightings, they recommend removing your bird feeder and not leaving your garbage out overnight.

They say you should never approach a black bear, and it should eventually wander off on its own.

John Lauritsen