VIDEO: La Crescent police officer escorts black bear out of city without incident

Black Bear
Black bear similar to one sighted in La Crescent Sunday night. (Associated Press)

LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WKBT) — A bear sighted in La Crescent Sunday night wasn’t Smokey on the prowl for fire potential amid dry, windy conditions in the Coulee Region.

Rather, it was a black bear that La Crescent police officer Cody Bellock was able to guide safely out of the city, to a less populated area without incident, according to a post on the La Crescent Police Department’s Facebook page.

“Although it is rare to see black bears in our area, they do wander through from time to time,” the Facebook post noted. “The best way to avoid problems with bears is to not attract them in the first place. If you see a bear, do not approach it.

“Once a bear finds a food source, it will return repeatedly,” the post notes.

Meanwhile, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources official recommends moving attractants such as garbage cans, bird feeders, grills, and pet food inside your garage to prevent bears from getting to such items.

“If the bear cannot access food attractants, it is more likely to continue moving through the area without incident,” said Tyler Ramaker, a conservation officer with the DNR’s enforcement division.

“Black bears, by nature, are wary of people and not normally aggressive,” Ramaker said. “They are, however, large, powerful, and surprisingly fast-moving animals.”

People who encounter a bear “should have a healthy respect for it, but, at the same time, do not feel that it is an inherent threat,” he said.

Anyone who sees the bear should report it to the La Crescent Police Department at (507) 895-4414) or the Houston County Sheriff’s Office at (507) 725-3379.

La Crescent police Facebook video of the inquisitive bear:

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