At 10:09 p.m. on Sunday, Judy Houseman got a notification on her phone from her security camera — there was movement. She didn’t check it right away.
About five minutes later she swiped to dismiss the notification when she saw something she was not expecting: security camera footage of a large black bear in her front yard in St. Louis Park.
“Neither one of us could believe what we were seeing,” Houseman said about she and her husband.
“To see a bear walking through my yard in St. Louis Park is pretty crazy. He was just passing through.”
Grow the Future of Public Media
MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!
Crazy? Maybe. Uncommon? No.
There have been more than 30 bear spottings so far this year in Hennepin County, according to a map on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.
Two were reported Sunday evening in the northwestern corner of St. Louis Park, according to the St. Louis Park Police Department.
The first call was at 10:15 p.m. and the second at 10:20 p.m., police confirmed. Residents are advised to report bear sightings on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.
The most recent reports of a bear spotting before the two Sunday evening spots were May 5 at 12:40 a.m. and 1:17 a.m. in Minnetonka, and May 7 at 7:39 p.m. and May 8 at 5:06 p.m. in St. Louis Park, according to the DNR.
St. Louis Park Police instructed Houseman to record her sighting with the DNR and came to her neighborhood to look around for traces of the bear. She says the DNR contacted her and asked her to post her spotting on the app Nextdoor to alert fellow neighbors.
The DNR did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but generally advises that residents move trash cans and bird feeders into their garages as to not attract black bears.