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Forum staff reports, Published September 04 2011

Bear sighted in northern Red River Valley

WARREN, Minn. – Bears are making a comeback in the Red River Valley.

At least that’s the word at the Audubon Center here when three months ago a visitor reported seeing bear tracks.

Then in August when Center Manager Heidi Hughes was filling bird feeders, she noticed “the tube of sunflowers was spilled to the ground, and the wrought-iron pole was bent at a 90-degree angle,” according to a news release from the Agassiz Audubon Society.

Hughes contacted Cabela’s in East Grand Forks to aid her in capturing a photo of the possible bear to verify the presence of bears. Cabela’s donated a Bushnell night-vision “Trophy Cam,” batteries and an SD card.

About a week later, Hughes said she got the image she was hoping for. She sent it to Dr. John Loegering at the University of Minnesota – Crookson, and he contacted Karen Noyce, a state Department of Natural Resources bear research biologist.

According to the news release, GPS collars “that relay fine-scale movements of bears to the researchers in near-real time” are being used in a project studying how bears live in a mainly agricultural landscape and how much forest it takes to sustain a bear.