A conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shot and killed a collared black bear on Thursday, Aug. 2 in the Ely area after it entered a garage where children were present and refused to leave the area.
The agency received a call from upset residents whose children were in their garage when a bear entered it. The residents reported they made repeated unsuccessful attempts to scare the bear away, including using an air horn, and that the bear snarled at them.
They called the DNR, and two conservation officers arrived to find the bear still in the area. The bear appeared to have been habituated to humans through hand feeding. After the bear refused to leave the residence, despite attempts by a conservation officer to frighten it away, the officer killed it.
The bear had been collared by a local research organization. DNR officials contacted officials at the organization and informed them that the bear had been killed. The DNR will examine the bear carcass for disease or other maladies.
Under DNR policy and state law, conservation officers and other enforcement agencies may kill nuisance bears if it is determined the bear is a threat to public safety. The DNR generally does not trap and relocate nuisance bears because the animals often will return to the same area or create a problem somewhere else.
An average of about 20 bears are killed legally each year in Minnesota under state laws that allow private property owners or peace officers to take bears to protect property and public safety.
Minnesota has a strong population of about 19,000 bears. To learn more about living in bear country, go tohttp://www.dnr.state.mn.us/livingwith_wildlife/bears/index.html.