Wildwood black bear sighting follows news of growing bear population

Missouri

WILDWOOD, Mo. – What appeared to be a black bear came right up to a family deck Sunday morning. It’s not what Sara Dayley expected to catch on camera when her alarms rang.

“My cameras were just beeping left and right and I said, ‘That’s weird.’ It does it during a storm because the wind blows and the trees will catch some of the activity, but it was quiet at 4:30 in the morning,” she said. “So, I looked at (nest camera video) and I’m like, ‘Wait a minute.’ I looked at it like three or four times before I realized it was a bear on my deck.”

She’s surrounded by trees, but she’s not exactly in the sticks.

“We are so close to 109. We see deer and they’re very used to humans. They’ll walk past you and not even blink, but like a bear? I was shocked,” she said. “I went upstairs and woke up my 9-year-old, oh my god! You’re never going to believe what happened on the deck!”

Just last week, the Missouri Department of Conservation reported Missouri is home to 800 black bears with about a 9% annual growth population.

In May, we reported on a bear in a Richmond Heights tree. Police and conservation tranquilized it, loaded it into a truck, and returned it to the wild.

Dayley’s video from Sunday morning may forecast another needed intervention. She can even tell you the size of her visitor.

“I did a comparison. (My son) brought the dog out and put him right where the bear was and the bear was maybe a little shorter, but wider and definitely bigger,” she said. “So (my dog is) 150 pounds give or take, probably more. He clearly doesn’t miss a meal.”

These are just two of many sightings in the St. Louis area. A department of conservation wildlife damage control biologist told us last month this a “new normal” in urban areas.

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