(Belle Plaine, MN) – It appears that at least one black bear is roaming the area near Belle Plaine, in search of food.
According to the DNR’s tracking map, a bear was spotted on August 1st, just northwest of town between the Minnesota River and Scenic Byway Road. Earlier this summer, a bear was spotted north of Belle Plaine along Market Avenue.
The Minnesota DNR set up a bear tracking map this year to see how far and how often the animals were traveling outside of their primary range.
The map has filled up with dozens of sightings in the Twin Cities and in southern Minnesota, including in Brown County – where a bear was caught on camera whil dumpster diving in rural Springfield.
National wildlife officials say if you encounter a bear, move away slowly and sideways, allowing a path for the bear to leave.
You should not scream, imitate bear sounds or make any sudden movements, as that may trigger an attack. Experts also say do NOT climb a tree and do NOT run. Black bears can climb trees and run as fast as a racehorse.
Now if a bear charges at you and attacks, officials say do NOT play dead, try to escape. If that’s not possible, try to ﬁght back using any object available. Concentrate your kicks and blows on the bear’s face and muzzle.
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Springfield bear photo: Cecily Eichhorn. Generic bear photo: Pixabay