DE SOTO, MO (KTVI) – A bear is on the loose in De Soto and FOX2 cameras got a peek at the animal that’s had people in the area on the lookout all day.
The black bear has been spotted in several areas near Highway 21. The bear is thought to be a young 2 year old male that has been in the De Soto area for a few days, leaving residents on edge and on high alert.
The bear was spotted Tuesday morning in a Walmart parking lot. Officers spent about 45 minutes searching the wooded area down the street from Walmart in De Soto at around 5 pm across from Highway 21. Our cameras were rolling and you can see the bear here, but the animal refused to be pushed out of the woods.
Officers armed with non-lethal bean bag rounds tired to encourage the bear to safely cross Highway 21, but were unsuccessful. The goal was to push the animal toward the Mark Twain National Forest in Washington County.
The bear may also be injured; we spoke with a man that hit the animal with his Jeep Cherokee. Authorities don't want people throwing anything or trying to agitate the animal.
If you see the bear, call police immediately and do not shoot the bear, the animal is protected in the state of Missouri.