Updated: 06/04/2014 7:04 AM KSTP.com By: Katherine Johnson
A bear sighting in the spring is not uncommon, but over the past few days there have been sightings in Burnsville, Savage, Inver Grove Heights and now in Eagan.
The bear was seen walking right behind a police squad car in Eagan around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. The bear, believed to be the same one spotted and shot by an officer last week in Savage, was seen walking with an injured rear leg.
The bear was seen around Lifetime Fitness when it walked right by Sgt. Rich Evan’s squad car and then wandered to a home and took down a bird feeder for a quick snack.
Department of Natural Resources officials believe all the sightings could be the same bear. As of Tuesday , the bear is only being watched from a distance. However, if law enforcement sees that a bear is no longer afraid of humans, that's when it is considered a threat and could be shot and put down on the spot.
"I have heard on Twitter that people are being encouraged to surround the bear and protect it," DNR Regional Wildlife Manager Cynthia Osmundson said. "That's just not a wise thing to do."
"We hope it just moves on and that it doesn't have to be destroyed," Capt. Greg Salo with the DNR said.
In 2013, there were more than 600 reports of bears in residential areas statewide; 25 of those bears were shot.