The Duluth News Tribune reported that a mother bear was standing guard over her 3 cubs that were caught in a trap in a residential backyard in Duluth Heights on Sunday when she was shot and killed. The live trap was set in Tracy Tezaks yard where just days before her dog was attacked by a bear.

Martha Minchak, an assistant wildlife manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said the female bear weighed anywhere between 150 and 200 pounds and will be transported to an animal health lab in the Twin Cities to see if she had any underlying issues that cause her aggressive behavior or if she was just being protective of her cubs.

Tezaks dog Gizmo a toy poodle initially survived the bear attack with broken ribs and a lung contusion but a return trip to the vet days later revealed that the injuries were so severe it would have required very extensive surgery to save his life. Gizmo's owners decided that he had been through enough and had him put down. In the the two other incidents both dogs (who survived) owners had described seeing cubs nearby, but Tezak said she did not see any.

Even though the DNR cannot prove that this was the bear that attacked the dogs, they have taken down the live traps for now, and the 3 cubs were brought to an animal hospital until they are big enough to be released back into the wild. Minchak advises homeowners to secure their trash, to have some type of light source on or with you in the dark and to keep your dogs on leashes. Also to carry commercial bear spray if you feel it is warranted.