Black bear hit and killed in Jackson
By: CJ Cassidy
Jackson, MO - It's the talk of the town in Jackson, after drivers on one the city's busiest highways encounter a surprise visitor.
Jackson police handled one of the strangest 911 calls they've ever dealt with Sunday night.
That's when a driver heading east on Highway 61 accidentally struck and killed a black bear.
"It was sad, very sad to see the bear die," Kay Graham says.
Moments after a 16-year-old Jackson girl accidentally hit a 200 pound black bear on Highway 61, stunned drivers began pulling over, to figure out if what they were seeing was true.
"The bear was alive yes he was rolling on the Highway back and forth and would raise up from time to time," Graham says.
Graham quickly used her cell phone camera to snap up some images.
"It was awful. I was fortunate so pre-occupied trying to get it on video for a minute I let myself look and see this beautiful thing dying before our eyes," she adds.
"All the signs are pointing towards a wild bear at this time can't say it's a 100 percent true," Darin Pettit, an agent with the Missouri Department of Conservation says.
Conservation agents believe the 66 inch long bear may have been looking for a new home or even a mate.
"We'll pull a couple of teeth and age the bear according to the teeth, and then we'll look at contents of stomach to see what it's been dieting on," Pettit says.
And hopefully answer some questions about where he came from.
In the meantime, Kay Graham says she'll keep the images close at hand. After all she knows this is a story she'll be telling for years to come.
"It's just so rare; so unusual, so bizarre," she says.
A taxidermist now has the bear carcass, and depending on the condition it's in, the Conservation Department could mount it or use it as a traveling display.
Agents ask people not to worry. They say bear sightings are rare and you aren't likely to see other bears around anytime soon.
In the meantime the driver of the car who hit the bear was treated at a local hospital, and is said to be recovering today.