Missouri Black Bear population growing

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(KPLR) - Black bears emerged from their Missouri dens this Spring and some are living not far away in south and west St. Louis County.

Missouri has a growing population of black bears in Missouri.  We can all live together if we know the rules.  Jim Karpowicz with the nearly-formed Black Bear Foundation explains.

Tips if you encounter a black bear:

  • Remain calm. Make the bear aware of your presence.
  • Do not feed the bear! Bears leave more easily if they have not obtained food.
  • Make sure the bear has an escape route.
  • Yell, bang pots and pans, throw rocks, wave your arms or use an airhorn to scare the bear away.
  • If the bear utters a series of huffs, snaps or pops its jaws, and swats the ground, you are too close. Slowly back away.
  • If the bear will not leave, move to a car or building, if available. Notify authorities immediately if you encounter an aggressive or nonyielding bear.
  • If a bear stands on its hind legs or moves closer, it may be trying to get a better view or detect smells in the air.
  • Black bears will sometimes "bluff charge" when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground, and then slowly back away.
  • If a Bear Seems Aggressive
  • Black bears almost never attack people. If you follow the precautions listed above, you probably won't have any trouble with bears. However, in the unlikely event that a black bear does attack, fight the bear aggressively with anything close at hand—rocks, sticks or even your fist. Black bears are usually intimidated by an aggressive counterattack.


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