FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. – A groggy bear has been seen strolling around Franklin County. Authorities tell FOX 2 that the bear has been spotted at several locations since Monday.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says that the young male bear probably just emerged from his winter nap. He is probably looking for a new place to call home.

The bear has been seen in the following locations:

  • Highway 185 & Highway YY (04/04/2022 at 3:00 PM)
  • Highway BB (04/07/2022 at 1:00 PM)
  • Highway 50 between Independence and Highway UU ( 04/07/2022 at 11:00 PM)

Conservation agents are tracking the animal’s location but are not interfering with it. They will, “let nature do its thing.” Bears typically turn around once they get to more populated areas.

Photo courtesy of John Johnsen

You should not feed a bear. Doing so makes them lose their natural fear of humans, and teaches them to see humans as food providers. This could cause some dangerous situations, especially for the bear. They may be killed to keep people safe.

If you see a bear, leave it alone. Do not approach or corner the animal. Back away slowly and do not run.

Don’t use birdfeeders from April through November in bear country. Be aware of other food sources on your property and secure them.