MN DNR Receives Aggressive Bear Reports

Minnesota DNR, Bear Hunting Magazine

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is investigating several recent incidents of aggressive or threatening behavior by black bears in the Ely area. They have involved some collared bears that are part of research being conducted and some that are not. There have been recent reports of a collared bear at Bear Head Lake State Park approaching occupied vehicles and putting its front paws on vehicles.

Another report involved a collared bear within three feet of a two-year-old child near the open door of a vehicle. The child’s mother scared the bear away only after pushing a wheel barrow toward it. On August 29, a homeowner killed a non-collared bear that refused to leave the homeowner’s porch. The homeowner fired a warning shot, and then legally shot and killed the bear after it refused to leave. A conservation officer responded to the incident and took possession of the bear carcass. The bear is not believed to be part of a research project.

The DNR urges the public in the Ely area not to feed bears, an activity that can cause the animals to become fearless of people. Home and cabin owners can reduce bear problems by reducing garbage can odors, removing bird feeders and keeping pet food inside.

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