Black bear sightings on the rise in the Valley
Many in the Valley are on the lookout after multiple reported bears sightings, keeping the Minnesota DNR busy.
A furry intruder was spotted snacking on sunflowers seeds at Diane Johnson's home eight miles west of St. Hilaire, Minnesota.
Another bear was cruising along the dock in Rollag, Minnesota, a little too close for comfort.
"Usually, you'll hear them or see them," said Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer. "They're pretty loud when they're moving around."
Jacob Swedberg, with the Minnesota DNR, says there's an uptick in black bears.
"They come out of hibernation in the springtime, and then the early summer there's not as much food available for them in the woods," said Swedberg.
You can keep track of the paw prints on the DNR's website here: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/bear/bear-sightings.html
They say bears are continuing to make their way west.
"The bear is going to move on eventually," said Swedberg. "It's not going to be immediately, but it will move on down the street or somewhere else. If it's right there, try and back away slowly, make sure it's not doing anything aggressive towards you."
Officials say they stick to a very berry diet, but until their fruits grow in the forest, they're relying on your bird feeder or garbage. So now's the time to put these things away or lock it down.
If you spot a bear near your home, you're encouraged to report it to the Minnesota DNR.