Pine River tree bears: Cubs, mother make daycare appearance
Jeremy Neuleib, of New Age Tree Service, was trimming trees for Crow Wing Power just outside of the Pine River city limits Friday, April 14, when his crew found three bears in a white pine near Kiddi Korner Daycare.
"I thought it was something I should be alarmed about," Neulieb said. "I went to the daycare. ... They weren't alarmed at all."
To Pine River Mayor Tamara Hansen, owner of the daycare, the bears were week-old news. Hansen and some parents had seen the mother bear and three cubs as they crossed the parking lot a week earlier.
"She has two cubs," Hansen said. "It appeared she was heading towards 371. The bus came around the corner and she kind of sent her cubs back."
Hansen said when Neulieb's crew found the bears in a tree, they had growled and snorted defensively, but stayed in the tree. Neulieb said the tree may have been within 1,000 feet of the property. Hansen advised Neulieb to call the Department of Natural Resources.
The children in the daycare didn't mind the view.
"The kids were eating breakfast, so they thought it was neat to eat breakfast and watch a bear out the window," Hansen said.
Hansen used the encounter as an opportunity for animal safety.
"During lunch time we had a bear drill," Hansen said. "I went through the process of when we are outside we don't treat it like it's a cat on the other side of the fence. They are to come back to the adult watching them and go inside until we are bear free."
The bear and her cubs have not been seen since the tree incident.
"It was kind of neat but I hope she got out of town with her cubs," Hansen said.