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ST. LOUIS – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is warning residents to be on the lookout for black bears who make their way to Missouri in the springtime.

They say the bears come from Wisconsin looking for food and potential mates. Illinois has seen its fair share of wandering black bears through the years because of neighboring states.

The department says if you happen to see a black bear this spring or summer, you should give them plenty of space, do not feed them, and do not approach them.

You can also report the sighting to your local wildlife biologist. Find contact information at https://www.wildlifeillinois.org/sightings/report/.

Learn more about what to do if you see a black bear by visiting bebearaware.org.