PICTURES: Police capture bear near housing development in Joplin, Mo.

JOPLIN, Mo. -- A Joplin neighborhood had an unexpected visitor Thursday: a bear.

Officers with the Joplin Police Department, Jasper County Sheriff's Office, Joplin Animal Control and the Missouri Department of Conservation found the bear in a wooded area near a housing addition. They removed the bear to a safe location in the county.

Missouri's bear population is slowly increasing. Conservation agents say most black bears are spotted south of Interstate 44, though the population seems to be expanding into the Lake of the Ozarks area.