MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Cottonwood Court in Centerville looked more like Pooh Corner last week when a young black bear out for a walk scared some teenagers.
Hailey Nelson, 17, and Dori Arndt, 15, were gardening Tuesday afternoon outside the house of their friend Hailey Nyberg, 17. While Nelson was working, she thought she saw Nyberg’s dog pass out of the corner of her eye.
“We wanted money, so we decided to go pull weeds and we just pull weeds, just talk, listen to music, turn our heads and it’s just a black lab.” said Nelson.
A camera in one of the Nyberg’s front windows captured the moment the realization began: this is not the family dog.
“It was a bear! Nelson said.
READ MORE: Bear spotting on the rise around the Twin Cities: what to do if you see one
Nelson and Arndt sprang up in terror and made their way to the front door. But there was a slight problem – it was locked.
“So I knock on the door and say, ‘Let us in! »Howling, just want to enter! Then [Hailey Nyberg] stick your head around the corner, ”Nelson said.
Daddy Brian Nyberg pulled Nelson and Arndt inside, before warning his daughter to take cover.
“I heard them screaming and my dad came out and said, ‘Why are you still here? A bear has just passed in front of our… front yard! ‘ I’m just like, ‘What?’ Hailey Nyberg said. “And then he’s just like, ‘Come inside!'”
Brian says he thought the girls were overrun by bees when he first heard their cries.
“I think Hailey and I heard the screams, we both thought, you know, maybe they walked into a yellow jacket nest,” Brian said. “They were just terrified, screaming, and the pounding on the door was so quick.”
The Nybergs say that after viewing the footage, they were amused by Nelson and Arndt’s priorities while fleeing danger.
“I think it was funny that the first thing Dori chose was her water bottle. [laughs]! “Said Hailey Nyberg.” She couldn’t think of anything but her water bottle!
“They both picked up their phones,” Brian said. “You can’t leave your phones there.”
Brian says the bear appears to be a juvenile that can be a year and a half and about twice the size of their 80 pound black Labrador Retriever.
“[The bear] picked up the pace a bit, but you can see he turned his head a bit and watched the girls scream when they got up, ”Brian said.
He says he was worried when the bear started walking towards Main Street and County Road 14.
“A few times… he turned around and walked towards our yard, then he wanted to cross Main Street, and there was a lot of traffic at that point,” he said.
Instead, the bear began to make its way through the backyards of the neighborhood, before disappearing into the wild.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says bears are usually lost and foraging for food when they roam residential neighborhoods. Black bears typically eat berries, which are scarce this summer due to drought. If you encounter a bear, the DNR tells you to leave it alone, give it space, and let it out of the area on its own. They also advise removing bird feeders and waste from yards and supervising pets when they are outside.
The MRN tracks bears that are outside their traditional habitat. Click here for more information.
Hailey, Hailey and Dori are thrilled the video has gone viral, racking up over 30,000 views on WCCO Instagram page in a few hours.
“The looks on their faces as they ran, kinda priceless,” Brian said.