Bear spotted near Bloomfield, Mo.

Several drivers witnessed a bear in the middle of the highway in Bloomfield on Wednesday
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 6:17 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 6:28 PM CDT
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STODDARD COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - Some drivers in Stoddard County came across wildlife crossing a busy highway on Wednesday, June 7.

“I was looking up at the highway and I seen something that I thought was a big ole dog,” Elisa Hobbs said.

Hobbs and Jett Featherston both had the same thought.

”I thought it was a big dog at first,” Featherston said.

A few seconds of video shows what appears to be a black bear crossing Highway 25 about 2 miles south of Bloomfield.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all it was kinda freaky, and I said I wasn’t expecting no bear on 25 at all,” Hobbs said.

Featherston was the one who took the video of the bear. He said he had no idea his sister, Casie Layton, sent it in.

“My initial reaction was to pull out my phone and take a video,” Featherston said.

What appears to be a black bear was spotted running across Highway 25 near Bloomfield, Mo. on Wednesday, June 7.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, black bears are becoming more common and widespread across the southern half of the state.

Conservation agents say this time of year, spring and early summer, are when bears are on the move.

According to Nate Bowersock, the state’s fur bear biologist, Missouri is now home to around 900 bears. Bowersock said Missouri is Bear Country and with summer, you might see them.

”We definitely are seeing an uptick in bear activity, so as people are getting out and about more, especially as the weathers warming up, there definitely is increased chances of running into a bear,” Bowersock said.

Bowersock said there’s do’s and don’ts if you come across a bear.

“Stay calm any time you run into a bear whether you’re excited to see a bear, or maybe a little nervous,” Bowersock said. “The biggest thing to remember is bears are just as scared of us as we are of them.”

According to Bowersock, when it comes to the bears, it is important to do not feed it, approach it, or run away.

”Give them the space they need to keep moving and get away from you,” Bowersock said.

Hobbs said one bear sighting is enough for her.

”It’s kinda scary,” Hobbs said. ”You’re not thinking that bears live close to you or anything like that, you think if you see a bear it’s out in the woods or something not in your own town.”

MDC estimates the population is growing approximately 9 percent annually.

If you see a bear, you can report it on the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.