Black bear killed, Volkswagen damaged in Lino Lakes crash

Black bear killed, Volkswagen damaged in Lino Lakes crash

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A fully-grown black bear was found dead in a ditch after a crash with a Volkswagen Jetta at 60 mph in Lino Lakes late Monday.

Chris Jordan told the Star Tribune the bear came "out of nowhere" as he was driving home from Target Field around 10:30 p.m. Monday. Jordan said he had no time to swerve, clipping the bear with left front side of his car.

A police officer parked nearby was notified of the crash.

Jordan's Volkswagen Jetta sustained significant damage, but no passengers were injured.

It seems like there's been an unusual number of stories about wayward bears in the metro recently. A bear killed a dog in Sherburne County last week, and a few weeks ago, and police shot and killed a bear in St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood within the last month.

The Department of Natural Resources says there are plenty of bears in the metro area, and say the number of sightings so far this year are not unusual. In fact, the DNR's Brian Lueth says it's completely natural.

"Last year's bears are dispersing away from their mothers as she enters another breeding cycle. So, they're out wandering the landscape and often times will learn that back yards provide a jackpot of food," he said.

Since the bears are looking for food, they're constantly on the move. Peggy Callahan, who performed the necropsy found that's exactly what the bear in the Lino Lakes crash had been doing.

"Clearly had been eating food from people," she said. "He had apples in his stomach and bird seed, and there are no apples on the trees right now, so he was getting it from somebody."

That's why the DNR warns homeowners to clean out garbage cans and take down bird feeders to keep bears away from populated areas, because they will always choose the easiest food source they can find.

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