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Bear Sighting at Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove

A Three Rivers Park District official says there was a black bear sighting at Elm Creek Park Reserve June 7, 8 and 9.

In addition to the other wildlife, several park patrons recently witnessed a black bear wandering in the in Maple Grove.

“We don’t believe it’s a resident there. We believe it’s possibly a bear passing through,” said Tom Knisely, Media Relations Specialist with the Three Rivers Park District.

The bear was first spotted Thursday, June 7 in a “remote, natural area of the park” in the northwest corner of the park, according to Knisely. On Friday, it was spotted in the southern area at Elm Creek Park Reserve where “it had wandered into the recreation area near one of the picnic areas.” On Saturday, the bear was again spotted, this time “heading back toward the north end of the park.”

Signs have been posted around the Elm Creek Park District recreation and swimming area alerting patrons to the bear sightings.

Three Rivers Park District is recommending patrons of the park take the following action if they do see a bear:

  • Do not approach the bear.
  • Keep a safe distance from the bear.
  • Alert park staff as soon as possible

The public safety departments and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are aware of the situation, Knisley said, and are “keeping an eye out” for the bear. Saturday, June 9 was the last time it was spotted at Elm Creek Park Reserve. 

“It is our belief that the bear is just passing through. If folks leave the bear alone, 99 percent of the time, the bear will leave folks alone. Don’t feed it, don’t approach it – just give it its space and let it wander through,” Knisley said.

Elm Creek Park Reserve is part of the Three Rivers Park District.

What do you think about the bear sighting at Elm Creek Park Reserve? Share your thoughts in comments!

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Jordan Lockman June 11, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Is it uncommon to have a bear in a park reserve? Glad it feels welcome.
Laura June 11, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Personally, I don't mind it at all, but I know there are some who are going to get a little bit worried. It seems only natural to me that the bears would move into the cities - after all, we're moving into the north woods and taking away their denning areas and food sources. I'm sure this is a bear that has recently experienced family breakup, so is probably just over a year old.
EM June 14, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I think it's awesome, so long as people don't interfere with it.

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