MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Early Sunday morning, a vehicle struck and killed a young black bear in Corcoran. Police say they haven’t had bear sightings in decades.

In the quiet, small town, news of a black bear in her neighborhood was surprising for Jeannine Angeski.

“I’ve never seen black bears around here before,” she said.

According to the DNR, there are roughly 20,000 black bears in Minnesota. While found mainly in the northern third of the state, there are occasional sightings in norhtern Sherburne, Anoka and Washington Counties.

black bear corcoran Black Bear Hit & Killed By Car In Corcoran, First Sighting In Decades

(credit: CBS)

That’s why Duane Koerner, a Corcoran resident of almost 30 years, was shocked when he made the discovery.

“It was about 7:30, 8:00 in the morning. I was going down to the coffee shop to get a cup of coffee. The guy I had riding with me, he says, ‘What’s that in the ditch over there?” Koerner recalled.

It was just up the road from Koerner’s home at the intersection of County Road 10 and Maple Hill Road where they spotted the bear laying in a ditch.

“Stopped the truck, got out, walked up on it, and it’s a damn bear laying down there,” Koerner said.

That’s when he called 911.

“‘Somebody hit a bear, it’s down in the ditch. I think it’s dead’ — I poked at it, it didn’t move,” Koerner said.

Corcoran Police say they haven’t had any reports of bears in the area in more than 30 years. Although he feels badly for the bear, Koerner says he’s glad to be a part of the rare situation.

Corcoran Police say they plan to have the bear mounted and displayed for educational purposes.


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