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Bear Sightings On The Rise Around Twin Cities: What To Do If You See One

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- People have reported seeing bears, some with cubs, across the metro this year. They've been spotted walking through neighborhoods from Woodbury, to Braham, Maple Grove and Chaska.

Bears are on the move, and finding their way into some neighborhoods. The Department of Natural Resources says it's not unusual, but there are some things to keep in mind if you see one.

A mama bear visited a backyard in Braham. She stood on her hind legs while her cubs scurried up a tree. The trio spent about a half hour there, they enjoyed some birdseed, and went on their way. Elsewhere, a mom and cub recently visited Maple Grove, pulling down a birdfeeder, and the cub cooled off with some water.

It's situations like those that has people on the lookout this summer.

Dog Mia alerted her owner Andy Olson in Chaska.

"She went kind of crazy barking. I looked out the window and right across the street there was a bear standing there," Olson said.

He took a quick picture and called his neighbor. It was walking the path to her door.

"She snapped a couple good pictures of it and she screamed a little bit," Olson said.

He says he kept an eye on the bear for a bit.

"I made sure to keep my distance and keep an obstacle between me and the bear," Olson said.

The DNR says if a bear wanders into a neighborhood, it's probably lost its way and is looking for food. With the dry weather, some of the normal food sources like berries may not be available yet. Their advice is to leave the bear alone, give it some space, and allow it to naturally find its way out of the area. That will keep people, and the bear, safe. It's also a good idea to take in birdfeeders, and trash, and watch your animals.

"(You've) got to keep an eye on the dog," Olson said.

He says the bear quickly became the talk of the neighborhood.

"It's definitely different living in the cities, you don't think you'll run into a bear," Olson said.

The DNR tracks bears that are outside their traditional habitat. Click here if you'd like to see where they've been spotted, or want to report a sighting.

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