Multiple black bear sightings reported in Cottage Grove (W/VIDEO)
Police said a black bear was reported spotted multiple times early Wednesday in Cottage Grove, first in a residential neighborhood, then in a park and later along Highway 61.
A resident called police about 12:30 a.m. after seeing a bear in a backyard in the 8600 block of Ivywood Avenue, near Jamaica Avenue and Hillside Trail. A police officer found the bear nearby on Isle Avenue near Hillside Avenue and watched it make its way through multiple yards, according to the police report.
Police contacted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which advised to monitor the animal and let it wander until it returns to a non-residential area.
Emergency dispatch received two more reported sightings, one from a caller who spotted a bear in Hearthside Park and another from someone who saw it behind Ruby Tuesdays restaurant on Hardwood Avenue off 80th Street.
Then, about 8:40 a.m. a caller reported seeing a bear near a guardrail between the Simek's building and Highway 61 in St. Paul Park.
DNR officials told police that as long as it wasn't creating a hazard or safety concern, they should let it wander back into a rural area.