If you’ve traveled to the Twin Cities recently, you may have noticed dead bears along Interstate 35. Diego Hogan of Duluth counted six of them between Pine City and Mahtowa on Wednesday, he said.
"There was one near Pine City, then five from about Sandstone to Mahtowa," Hogan said. "Two were up on the hilltop [along the road], and four were in the median. Four of them were in a 10-mile stretch. They were all pretty good-sized."
Some bears are coming out of hibernation now, although those with cubs likely havent emerged yet, said Dave Garshelis, bear project leader for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Grand Rapids. He was surprised at hearing of so many dead bears along the highway.
"I would say it’s unusual," Garshelis said. "Ive never heard of anything like this."
He said the phenomenon is more likely related to a behavioral issue than to an increase in the bear population.
"It’s like there’s something along the highway that’s attracting them," Garshelis said. "They could be scavenging on other dead critters along the highway."