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ELSBERRY, Mo. – An Elsberry, Missouri police officer spotted a black bear along a dirt road while patrolling Wednesday night. It turns out that black bear is Bruno. He was first seen in Wisconsin on May 10, then crossed into Illinois a month later and is now in Missouri.

Along Bruno’s way people have been taking pictures of his journey and posting them in the Facebook group “Keeping Bruno Safe.” The group grew from 300 members to over 27,000 members in less than a week.

Some of the founding members of the group believe its growth could be due to the fact that people are looking for someone or something to cheer on in 2020.

Dan Zarlenga with the Missouri Department of Conservation said they learned about Bruno a few days ago. He said if you see him consider yourself lucky, snap a picture, report his location and give him his space. Zarlenga said don’t approach the bear or feed it.

Zarlenga says it’s not uncommon for bears to travel across the state of Missouri. During this time of year young male bears often travel to find their territory and a mate.

Bruno has traveled farther than just across the state. Members of his Facebook group said they are looking into if Bruno is setting a record for the longest migration by a black bear.

So as Bruno moves through the Show-Me State we hope to continue keeping him safe, cheering him on and watching nature take its course.