Frogtown black bear shot and killed by DNR

Categories: Animals
A black bear turned up in the heart of St. Paul last weekend.
Around 12:30 Sunday morning, residents of St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood saw a black bear roaming around the area.

The bear's journey to the heart of the city must've been an interesting one. Dave Garshelis, bear research biologist for the DNR, said the two nearest bear populations -- western Wisconsin and on the northern fringe of the Twin Cities metro -- are each about 30 miles away from Frogtown.

After first being spotted on the 500 block of West Charles Avenue, the bear traveled around three blocks north to West Lafond Avenue, where it climbed a tree. St. Paul police, coordinating with the DNR, waited for the bear to climb down, then shot and killed it.

Why did officers shoot to kill rather than tranquilize? Garshelis said the DNR instituted a shoot-to-kill policy for bears found within the 694-494 loop back in 2006.

"The DNR isn't really equipped to [tranquilize]" when bears are found in the Twin Cities, Garshelis said. "In the western states, the people that work for natural resources agencies carry dart guns and are trained, and they have the drugs and practice."

Added Garshelis: "When you weigh this one bear life against the potential for human injury in a crowded area where there are lots of people and cars, [the DNR] decided to err on the side of public safety."

The bear shoot-to-kill policy is unique to the Twin Cities area, Garshelis said. For instance, if a black bear were spotted near downtown Duluth, officers and DNR agents would first attempt to tranquilize it.

The Frogtown bear's gender and age haven't yet been shared by the DNR. It reportedly weighed about 200 pounds.

Garshelis said, in his experience, bears pop up in urban areas about two or three times a year. When traveling from western Wisconsin, for instance, they tend to follow strips of woods that eventually peter out, leaving bears in unfamiliar city environments. Bears turn up in cities more often in spring, when natural foods are less plentiful than in summer or fall.

See also:
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greghume 1 Like

The photo is taken from wikipedia and is available under a creative commons license that requires attribution.  Please note "Photo by Greg Hume" if you continue to use the image.


They also don't carry  firearms of a sufficient caliber to do the job correctly.  Most likely this animals final moments were frightening and extremely painful.

I totally get why it had to be done, and we're not short on bears in this state, but it's pretty sad all around.  They could have asked for a local resident to loan them a rifle of sufficient caliber.  I'll bet there was at least one on the same block.

effeminate dad
effeminate dad

Why can't they just leave a couple tranq darts at each police station? Hopefully they at least make use of the kill.

Toliveindreams666 1 Like

That's bullshit. Why did they have to kill the poor bear? 200 pounds is a tiny bear. Pieces of shit.


If it were a white bear, they wouldn't have shot it.

Sicktomystomach 1 Like

Fucking murdering assholes, period..Lazy fucks.


This kind of news can bruin your day. I work near where Yogi was gunned down. Sad that the critter could not have been saved, but the policy is understandable.

Dave2 1 Like

""The DNR isn't really equipped to [tranquilize]"" when bears are found in the Twin Cities, Garshelis said."

What? Tranquilizing guns don't work inside the 694-494 loop? ...Or is it that a bullet is just so much cheaper?At times one has to wonder at the mentality of the DNR.

Damn Near Russia
Damn Near Russia 1 Like

Also, there's absolutely no chance whatsoever that a tranquilizer dart would ricochet through crowded areas with people and lots of cars.


Or that the tranquilizer would take enough time to take effect that the bear would have a chance to run around a densely populated area in a highly agitated state.

Damn Near Russia
Damn Near Russia 1 Like

At 12:30 on a Sunday morning? That's not exactly rush hour.

jimn 1 Like

But why not at least try it?  It doesn't need to be an either/or thing.  Hit it with the tranquilizer, if it bolts out of the tree in a rage there are officers there itching to kill it.

In fact, a bear was successfully tranquilized out of a tree just last Friday in Colorado.

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