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Black bear seen in Fenton Saturday killed by semitruck

The Missouri Department of Conservation confirmed Thursday the bear was killed on I-55.

FENTON, Mo. — A black bear spotted roaming the streets Saturday morning in Fenton was killed in a crash.

The Missouri Department of Conservation said the black bear was first seen June 8 southwest of House Springs, Arkansas. It then traveled into House Springs, where it was spotted on the front porch of some homeowners in House Springs.

Then on Saturday, the Fenton Precinct of the St. Louis County Police Department confirmed that a bear had been reported in the area of Saline Road. 

MDC confirmed multiple sightings of the bear on June 10 and June 11. The bear was known to be moving toward Meramec River Bottoms.

Viewer video taken at about 10 a.m. Saturday shows the black bear running in a Fenton neighborhood on and off the roadway, dodging cars. 

June 12, MDC reported the bear had been seen in the areas of Arnold and Imperial, traveling south. 

On June 13, the black bear was walking on Interstate 55 toward Festus when it was hit and killed by a semi-truck. 

The bear's body was retrieved by the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the bear was estimated to be between 2-3 years old. The bear was male. 

Bear safety

The Missouri Department of Conservation offers list of tips for what to do if you spot a bear in your area. 

People should leave bears alone and not feed them under any circumstances, as it makes bears lose their natural fear of humans and teaches them to seek out humans as food providers.

A bear that is used to getting food from people may become aggressive and dangerous, MDC said. In that case, they'd have to be killed to keep people safe. 

To avoid confrontations, hikers and campers are recommended to make noise such as clapping, singing or talking loudly, so as not to surprise bears. Traveling in groups is recommended. 

Dogs should be kept leashed and people should be aware of signs of bears, such as tracks or claw and bite marks on trees.

Anyone who encounters a bear is advised not to corner it, and to walk away slowly with their arms raised. Speak in a calm, loud voice, and walk away slowly without turning your back to the bear.

Black bears are native to Missouri, but were nearly wiped out when settlers came to the area. However, they've been making a comeback in recent years, MDC said. Most black bears live south of Interstate 44, but some wanderers, especially subadult males, have been seen as far north as the Iowa line.

To report a bear sighting to the Missouri Department of Conservation, click here. 

To learn more about black bears in Missouri, click here.


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