Trapped bear rescued from icy northern Minnesota culvert

February 6, 2023

by Louis Krauss, Star Tribune

A bear was rescued Monday in northern Minnesota after hibernating partly in a snowy culvert that flooded, trapping the animal in ice and snow. The male black bear — estimated at 400 pounds — decided to cuddle up and spend the winter in the culvert in a ditch alongside a road near Wannaska, south of Roseau, according to a Facebook post from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

It’s not unusual for bears to hibernate above ground, the department said, but melting snow flooded the culvert and the bear got stuck after a recent thaw and refreeze.

After arriving early Monday and finding the bear stuck in snow partly above ground, DNR bear biologist Andrew Tri anesthetized the bear. It knocked the bear out in about 10 minutes, Tri said.

Conservation officers, a Roseau County deputy and Tri dug the bear out of the snow, and found that one of its legs was lodged in the snow.

“We were carefully digging around the bear making sure we don’t injure him, basically trying to find the rest of his body stuck under the snow, and all of a sudden the snow popped loose,” Tri said.

photo: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Facebook page

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