More Missouri bear sightings could be ‘new normal’

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RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. (KTVI) – This is a story about a bear that was the talk of the town on Mother’s Day weekend. After numerous sightings, the bear was finally captured while relaxing in a Richmond Heights tree.

Just imagine walking down the street in your community and you look up at a tree and notice a black bear.

“I did not think I would ever see a bear ever,” said Chris Decker of Richmond Heights.

On Sunday, the bear was spotted near the intersection of Buck and East Linden avenues around 6:00 p.m. Ryan Jersan could not believe his eyes.

“It’s kind of sad. I was wondering how it got here and why it was here,” he said. “It seemed like not a great place for a bear to be.”

Missouri Department of Conservation agents responded along with dozens of first responders and tranquilized the bear. Crews loaded the animal into a truck and took it to a less-populated area to be released back into the wild. The bear had been spotted wandering around several west St. Louis County municipalities over the weekend.

Conservations agents says it’s a strong possibility that residents could witness more sightings in the future.

“I hope we won’t have any more sightings of him, but it seems like we are having more and more in St. Louis than ever before this year. I think this is the new normal,” Tom Meister, wildlife damage control biologist for the Department of Conservation, said.

“We got bears in Missouri, we are going to have them in St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and they are looking for new places to live. It’s wildlife and it’s happening every spring and we can expect to see more in the near future is my best guess,” said Tom Meister.

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