WARREN COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - Last week, it was Jefferson County. This week, a Black Bear was spotted in Warren County and Monday morning, the Missouri Department of Conservation trapped, sedated and inspected that Black Bear on a farm in rural Warren County.
The bear was trapped on the farm of Warren County resident Tom Kemper who first learned the bear was hanging out on his property about nine days ago when a man who cuts the hay on his property saw the bear run up into the hills.
But this is Missouri where seeing is believing so he put up a couple of game cameras and it did not take long to find what he was looking for.
Kemper’s family has nicknamed the bear “Gummy” as in “Gummy Bear”.
Tom Meister, a Wildlife Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation says Gummy is in good health. He was actually first captured and tagged two years ago in Christian County down near Springfield. He has traveled more than 200 miles to get to Warren County and somehow managed to get across the Missouri River, either by swimming or crossing a bridge.
Gummy is one of 300 or so Black Bears believed to be in Missouri and one of only 80 or so to be tracked by satellite through a special collar.
As you might imagine, there was quite a stir when the news of the capture spread this morning. Family and neighbors all stopped by to have a look.
When the checkup was all done, Meister and his crew from MDC released Gummy back into the wild in the same place they found him. Had he been a troublemaker, they would have relocated him somewhere else.
Meister says that bears are a natural part of Missouri history and they should stay here. He just wants people to understand that they shouldn’t leave food out for bears and should store anything that could be used as food indoors.
For more information about Black Bears in Missouri check out these links: