STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. — It's that time of year, when our furry fellow mammals are awake from their winter naps. They've seemingly lost all sense of direction and answer to no one or nothing except their appetites.
There have been bear sightings throughout Missouri, as expected, but Ste. Genevieve County has been a particular hotspot. This month, the Missouri Department of Conservation noted, a bear had its picture taken while crossing Highway C, then the same bear was seen the next morning at the Grayhawk Lake development.
The video below is from a porch around 10 p.m. on Kimmel Lake Road near Interstate 55. The bear appears to have grabbed a block of suet for wild birds and is looking for a proper place to dine.
Another photo showed a bear at a bird feeder in Lake Forest last weekend. Dan Zarlenga of the conservation department pointed out that all the sightings were within a couple of miles of each other, just north of Weingarten.
It should serve as a reminder that humans and bears often coexist in the same areas, and the bears' shrinking habitat tends to bring us closer together.
"All reporting parties seemed to be excited about seeing the bear; no conflicts yet," Zarlenga said.
So remember — keep your camera phones ready. Just no selfies.
“Bear Aware” precautions
- Don’t feed bears
- Don’t try to take selfies with bears!
- Keep your distance and give a bear its space
- When bears are in the area,
- securely seal garbage containers or keep them indoors, garages or sheds until the morning of pickup
- avoid feeding pets outdoors if possible, otherwise take away the food as soon as your pets have eaten
- remove birdfeeders. Birds have plenty of food this time of year and the seed and suet might attract bears
- clean outdoor grills of any meat drippings, fat etc., or store them inside a garage or shed.
Missouri Department of Conservation