Black bear population increasing along with black bear sightings in Missouri

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A black bear was spotted in Mountain Grove last night, but that’s not the only bear sighting this year.

The Missouri Department of Conservation said it’s not surprising to see more bears because young males are kicked out of the family group.

When the mother bear has a new set of cubs, the younger males will leave and wander into yards and farms.

More bears being seen in urban areas means something else is going on. The black bear population is increasing 9% each year, so their range is having to expand.

Francis Skalicky, the media specialist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said they are primarily looking for food, but they are also curious.

“These areas, whether rural or urban, if they have an unsecured trash can, if they have a pet food dish, with food still in, if they have a bird feeder, anything like that, that might be a food source, that curious and hungry bear will go to that. And as humans, what we need to do in those situations, is try to get the bear to move on,” said Skalicky.

Skalicky encourages people not to feed the bears because they could damage property when trying to come back for more.

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