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Black bear spotted again in Cottage Grove

A black bear was captured on a police squad dash camera in a Cottage Grove yard. Photo courtesy of Cottage Grove Police Department2 / 3
There were multiple reports of a black bear in Cottage Grove neighborhoods early Wednesday morning. Photo courtesy of Cottage Grove Police Department3 / 3

After being spotted several times early Wednesday in Cottage Grove, a black bear was seen roaming neighborhoods west of Highway 61 again late in the evening.

A homeowner near the 8000 block of Gary Boulevard called police after seeing a bear in the National Guard Armory parking lot about 10:20 p.m. Police didn't locate the bear in that area, but soon after an officer spotted the animal walking southbound on West Point Douglas Road. The officer followed the animal until it went into a railroad area near West Point Douglas Road and out of sight.

A black bear was spotted multiple times earlier 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. An 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 that morning, one from a caller who spotted a bear in Hearthside Park and another from someone who saw it behind Ruby Tuesday 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.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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