Department of Conservation expert says bear sightings could be ‘new normal’

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mon – This is a bear story that was talked about in town on Mother’s Day weekend.

After numerous sightings, the bear was eventually captured while relaxing in a Richmond Heights tree.

Imagine walking down the street in your community and looking up at a tree and noticing a black bear.

“I didn’t think I’d ever see a bear,” said Richmond Heights’ Chris Decker.

At around 6 p.m. on Sunday, the bear was spotted near the intersection of Buck and East Linden avenues

Ryan Jersan couldn’t believe his eyes.

“It’s kind of sad. I was wondering how it got here and why it was here, ”he said. “It didn’t seem like a great place for a bear.”

Agents from the Missouri Department of Conservation, along with dozens of first responders, responded and reassured the bear. The crews loaded the animal into a truck and took it to a less populated area to be released back into the wild. The bear had wandered around several parishes in western St. Louis County over the weekend.

Conservation agents say it is very likely that residents could see more sightings in the future.

“I hope we don’t see him again, but it seems like we have more and more in St. Louis this year than ever before. I think this is the new normal, ”said Tom Meister, biologist for wildlife damage control for the Department of Conservation.

“We have bears in Missouri, we will have them in St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and they are looking for new places to live. It’s wildlife and it happens every spring and we can expect to see more in the near future is my best guess. “

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