Bear sightings reported in area

Lisa Ingebrand, Montgomery Messenger
The Minnesota DNR has recorded at least five bear sightings in Le Sueur, Scott and Dakota counties since
May 1, 2018. (Screenshot of MN DNR Bear Tracking Website)

A lone bear was spotted walking in a field south of Montgomery, near the intersection of Highway 99 and County Road 3, on May 1, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

DNR Wildlife Resource Biologist Andrew Tri, who is one of two bear research specialists in the state, spoke to the Faribault couple who reported the bear sighting. “They were very surprised,” Tri reported.

“They were on their way to a funeral at the time when they spotted the bear walking thru a field. Based on what we know about dispersal patterns, it was probably a male black bear. When they leave their mom, females often establish on the edge of mom’s territory, but a male traveling 100 miles is not out of the realm of possibilities.”

The bear is just one of at least five bear sightings reported in Le Sueur, Scott, and Dakota counties since May 1.

“Bears are very adaptable,” Tri stated. “In the future, we’ll probably be seeing them move into areas traditionally not thought to be bear habitat because it has become suitable for them and people are more tolerant of large mammals. Basically, people are mostly excited to see them.”

Ironically, Scott Wardell, who owns Montgomery Orchard, which is near where the local bear was spotted, reported finding “very, very large” prints in the orchard in early May.

“That was before I knew about the bear sighting and I didn’t think much about it, but it probably was a bear,” Wardell stated. “This is the time of year we clean out the cooler and make a compost pile of apples. Apples are used to bait bear, so it makes sense.”

After learning that there is an apple orchard composting apples near where the bear was sighted, Tri laughed.

“Yes. Apples are a good attraction for bears. It’s very likely that bear enjoyed some if he’s in the area,” Tri stated.

To better understand bears in the state, the DNR launched a website to gather information about bear sightings in southern and western parts of the state. The bear spotted south of Montgomery is recorded on this website and allowed Tri to contact the spotters.

Visit the DNR website - bear/bear-sightings.html to view all of the reported and recorded bear sightings.

"Nearly all of these.......

To see more on this story pick up the May 17, 2018 print edition of The New Prague Times. 


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