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Forum News Service, Published May 15 2013

Black bear sightings reported in Cottage Grove

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Police said a black bear was spotted multiple times early Wednesday in this Twins Cities suburb, 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. A police officer found the bear 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 nonresidential 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 a restaurant.

Then, about 8:40 a.m. a caller reported seeing a bear near a guardrail along 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.