BRAHAM, Minn. (WCCO) – A mama bear and her four yearlings are back in a Braham backyard. Last year, the bear and her cubs also made an appearance.

“All I saw through the window is black and was like, ‘That’s a bear,'” Marni Steltz said.

It’s a sight Steltz has seen in her backyard before and just like last year, she stayed inside and started rolling.

“There was the bear and I could see three cubs, ‘Oh it’s a mom with triplets, oh I wish it would have been the quadruplets,’ and she moved and the cubs moved and there was four of them,” Steltz said.

(credit: CBS)

The sow brought her yearlings back to the Steltz backyard. A car would make them scamper away and then they’d come right back.

“They were just eating. They were enjoying the dead sunflower seeds that were laying on the ground that I’m sure the birds throw out so much seed on the ground. Just were grabbing handfuls, were scooping them up, grabbing and eating – it was so cute and their little paws are just getting so big. Yeah, it was awesome,” Steltz said.

“That’s the common thread in all these bear interactions is that people put out birdseed and people specifically put it out for the birds, but you can’t pick the species that come in,” said Tim Marion, with the DNR.

Marion said mama bears don’t go far with cubs or yearlings, so it’s not surprising they’d return to an area with a food source this time of year.

“They’re waking up and the first thing on their mind is food and its easy pickings. There’s a lot of people out there that feed the birds,” Marion said.

He recommends never getting between a mama and her cubs. If you don’t want to see bears, don’t feed the birds from April to November.

Steltz is glad the family paid her another visit.

“They’re getting close to that time where she’s going to push them out of the nest, so we don’t know what we’ll see after this, so this could be our last,” Steltz said.

The DNR asks people to report bear sightings in parts of the state. It’s tracking how far south bears are moving in Minnesota.

Jennifer Mayerle