(St. Paul, MN) – A bear was reportedly spotted in Brownton as state wildlife officials remind Minnesotan residents to be aware of bears this spring.

The sighting occurred within city limits of Brownton on the evening of March 26,  just hours before the governor’s Stay at Home order was to take effect.  It was reported on the bear sighting map on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.

“April is a good time to walk around your property to remove or secure anything that could attract a bear,” said Eric Nelson, wildlife damage program supervisor for the DNR.

Nelson said taking action now can help prevent a season-long problem.

As bears emerge from  hibernation, their metabolism gradually ramps up and they will begin looking for food when berries and green vegetation are scarce.  People should remove or secure birdseed, garbage, livestock feed, or compost to reduce potential conflict.

Black bears are the only bear species that live in Minnesota, and are most common in northern Minnesota.   But according to the DNR website, Minnesota’s black bear range has been slowly expanding to the south and west.

State wildlife officials are tracking sightings outside the of the primary range on an interactive map, which residents can use to report a sighting.

The DNR says people should remain cautious around bears and give them space.

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