Driver hits bear on James River Freeway near Republic, Mo.
REPUBLIC, Mo. (KY3) - Authorities are investigating a bear likely hit by a vehicle on James River Freeway near Republic Monday morning.
The crash happened on the freeway between State Highway MM and I-44.
Conservation agents say the bear was probably about a year-and-a-half old male. It weighs around 100 pounds. The bear did not have a tracking device from an ongoing Missouri Department of Conservation study. Wildlife biologist Josh Wisdom says this is not unusual this time a year, especially seeing a young male bear on the move.
“This time of year, they get kicked off of their mother, basically,” said Wisdom. “The young males, or juvenile males, have to go find their own habitat, their own home range, and so when this happens, they end up going to far-flung parts of the world, basically and they kind of show up in weird places.”
Missouri Department of Conservation agents have reported an increase in bear sightings in southern Missouri in the last decade. Wisdom says Missouri has never had a report of a bear attack. He says if you do encounter one and it’s not running from you, make yourself look large and you can make loud noises to try and scare the bear away. He says also be careful to not leave pet food sitting out, because that could attract a bear.
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