Over the years we have noted the migration of wildlife into suburban and urban areas a number of times, generally with pleasure. My own neighborhood now features foxes, wild turkeys, possums, bald eagles, coyotes and other formerly unusual residents. But enough is enough: this afternoon, a black bear was sighted in my town, about a mile from my house.
Local authorities put out a statement that concluded with this:
Black bears are native to Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a publication entitled “Bear Country, Learning to live with Bears” available on the web at the following address:
The DNR offers the following advice when dealing with a black bear:
DON’T APPROACH IT!
LEAVE IT ALONE!
Here’s the thing: I don’t live in “bear country.” I live in a Minneapolis suburb. Enough is enough; and, while I certainly wouldn’t panic at the sight of a black bear (grizzly bears are a completely different animal, and worthy of panic), it would be something of a surprise to see one in my yard. What to do? The Department of Natural Resources offers this useful observation:
Indeed. Maybe it’s time to borrow one of my brother’s firearms. He lives in South Dakota, where relations with wildlife tend to be less sentimental.