DNR officer shoots and kills bear after 'stand off' in North St. Paul neighborhood

A bear is dead after being shot by officials in a residential area of North St. Paul Thursday.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, a conservation officer shot the bear after they determined, “the animal posed an immediate safety threat.”

The density of the residences and roads in the neighborhood made it “unlikely” that he would have been able to escape to a more suitable habitat,” said the DNR.

In addition, interest in the bear’s location led to a gathering of spectators, which officials feared would agitate the bear and pose a threat to humans. North St. Paul police called the situation a "stand off" as the bear was cornered in a neighborhood tree, which prompted the police response. 

The DNR says law enforcement is authorized to kill bears in the metro area if they pose a public threat, as the DNR does not tranquilize or relocate bears. They don’t take on this practice because bears rarely remain where they are dropped off and often return to the neighborhoods.

The male bear was estimated as two years old and between 110-120 pounds. The DNR says the bear’s carcass will be processed and the meat will go to those in need of food.

If anyone encounters a bear, the DNR recommends backing away slowly so as not to scare the bear. The department also suggests removing bird feeders, garbage and compost bins to keep bears away from developed areas.