Black Bears Seen More in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The population of black bears in Missouri could be growing.

Anglers, hunters and campers exploring Missouri's backwoods are reporting more frequent sightings.

The Missouri Department of Conservation recently wrote a Black Bear Management Plan.

State scientist Jeff Beringer believes the bears probably migrated from the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains in west and northwest Arkansas.

Firm population estimates aren't available yet, but some believe there could be a few hundred black bears living in Missouri.

The native bears were likely wiped out by the early 20th century. Beringer says it's possible they survived in remote pockets of the Ozark Mountains.

Beringer says he's interested in "trying to promote bears as a success story."

Information from: Daily Capital News,

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