MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Officials in a northern Minnesota community are cautioning parents not to let their children walk to school after bears were spotted near campus.

(credit: Clearwater County)

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The Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office says students and parents of Clearbrook-Gonvick School should beware of bears, as some were spotted at the intersection in front of the school. A photo released by the sheriff’s office shows a black bear sitting in a snowbank just off Clearwater Lake Road.

School officials are urging parents not to let their children walk to or from school until further notice.

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The sheriff’s office says that deputies, police officers and DNR officers are aware of the situation and will be monitoring the bears.

Those who see bears near the school are encouraged not to approach them. The sheriff’s office says a mother bear might attack if she feels her cubs are threatened.

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According to the DNR, there are roughly 12,000-15,000 black bears in Minnesota, mostly in coniferous forests in the northern half of the state.