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Ashland

Ashland encounter adds to list of Mid-Missouri bear sightings

Home security camera video shows a bear outside a home in Ashland.

ASHLAND, Mo. (KMIZ)

Another bear has been seen in Mid-Missouri -- this time in an Ashland subdivision.

Multiple residents reported seeing the bear passing through their neighborhood at about 3:30 a.m. Thursday. Robert Hemmelgarn with the Missouri Department of Conservation said it's the latest of several bear sightings in Mid-Missouri in the past three weeks.

Hemmelgarn said anyone who comes in contact with a bear should give the animal some space.

"Never corner a bear, make sure the bear always has a path to escape," Hemmelgarn said.

Hemmelgarn said make loud noises, make yourself as big as possible and even throw rocks at the bear if possible. Just don't run.

"Never turn your back on a bear and run. If you come in contact with one walk backwards slowly, never take your eyes off of the bear," Hemmelgarn said.

Hemmelgarn said excluding food sources for bears is one of the ways to make sure a bear won't show up at your front door. Feeding birds and pets outdoors has the potential to attract bears. Conservation officials don't want bears to associate humans with easy found sources, Hemmelgarn said.

Hemmelgarn said bears are native to Missouri and that the state has a great habitat for bears. He said unregulated hunting destroyed the state's bear population, but conservation efforts in neighboring states and in Missouri helped to restore their population to a healthier level.

"You know the state of Missouri has a lot of great habitat for bears and bears don't see property lines so its not out of the question that a landowner could see a bear on their property even if there isn't a food source," Hemmelgarn said.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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