UPDATE: NEW PHOTO: 2 bears now reported together in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: NEW PHOTO: 2 bears now reported together in Dubuque

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Submitted by Nicole Ginter-Henry off of North Cascade Road in Dubuque. Submitted by Nicole Ginter-Henry off of North Cascade Road in Dubuque.
Viewer-submitted photo of a bear on the outskirts of a lawn in Dubuque. Viewer-submitted photo of a bear on the outskirts of a lawn in Dubuque.
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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

There now may be more than just one bear in Dubuque.

Nate Johnson, a conservation officer for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said he's received reports of two bears wandering around Dubuque.

Based on the reports, he said he thinks it's a mother bear with a one- or two-year-old cub.

Mary Mabusth heard about the bear in town and decided to take a walk near Murphy Park to look for it.

“I don't know what I was thinking," she said. "I guess I was just being adventurous.”

She wanted her family to join in on the hunt.

"But as it turned out, they never got any of my messages, so that's why I was by myself,” she said.

She didn't think the bear would pose a threat.

“I was expecting some cute little bear, at worst, if I ran into it, a cute little bear sitting by the side of the road, whatever.”

But that's not what she saw at all -- she was sitting on a bench when the encounter happened.

"And then I hear it, and I'm afraid to turn around, but I go like this, and sure enough I see him, and he's, like, three times bigger than what I was picturing," she said.

She only saw one bear, but the reports indicate there may in fact be two.

Mabusth said the bear passed within 40 feet of her.

She counts herself lucky after the encounter.

"I realize that black bears are the friendly bears, and they're more afraid of you, but that didn't matter when I saw this bear coming out of there and he was large and not at all what I expected," she said.

Despite Mabusth's story, DNR officials say you shouldn't go looking for the bear.

If you do come across it, they say you shouldn't run away. Rather, walk away slowly, or make noise until the bear runs away.

And, of course, they say to call the police right away if you do spot the bear.

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