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Published September 01, 2011, 08:55 PM

Trapping, Tracking and Studying A Bear Spotted Near Warren, MN

"We had a close encounter of the furry kind and it turned out to be the biggest furry animal I've encountered in my life. A brown bear," said Hughes.

"This is one of the best kept secrets in all of Minnesota," said Heidi Hughes, manager of the Audubon Center of the Red River Valley near Warren, Minnesota. She is a big fan of the lush, green woods that surround the center, and where she makes her home.

As Hughes found out, good secrets do not stay secret too long.

"We had a close encounter of the furry kind and it turned out to be the biggest furry animal I've encountered in my life. A brown bear," said Hughes.

The bear has visited Hughes and the center every night this week, messing with her bird feeders and tearing apart trash cans. That is not all.

"He left behind a surprise. They call it scat," said Hughes, smiling.

Seeing this as an opportunity for science, Hughes and the Minnesota DNR will trap it, track it, and study it.

Trapping one is not a bear of a task by any means. Two cyllinders were placed in the woods, and a bacon was placed inside of an onion bag. The bacon dangles from a wire, and the wire trips a trap door keeping the bear inside of the cyllinder.

"The DNR comes, they put the bear on the tarp and go through tests and kind of give it a physical," said Jennifer Knott, who has caught two bears with these traps.

The bear gets a collar and a GPS will track where it goes and what it does. These are the only two traps like this set out in Minnesota. Bears are not usually in western Minnesota, so it should be pretty safe.

"It's unique because we're in hunting season, so this bear will have 480 acres to move around in and not have to worry about being hunted," said Hughes.

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