So I have lived in the state of Missouri for about 5 years of my life.  Started in Mexico, Missouri, then to Columbia, and now in Sedalia.  I have seen various animals and critters that our state has, from deer, turtles, various birds and vermin.  But I was unaware that in our state we apparently have black bears.  BEARS?

Bear Black Bear GIF - Bear Black Bear Walking - Discover & Share GIFs

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Missouri is home to an estimated 800 black bears with most being in the southern part of the state. As spring gets underway, these magnificent mammals leave their winter dens in search of food. MDC reminds Missourians to “Be Bear Aware.”

Bear Black Bear Bears GIF - Bear Black Bear Bears Grizzly - Discover &  Share GIFs

Now to be clear, I don't think here in Sedalia, this is a big concern, but if you do any traveling or camping around the southern parts of the state, it probably wouldn't hurt to keep you eyes pealed.  These are wild animals, and although I am a big animal person, I would highly recommend leaving these guys alone.

Best Black Bear GIFs | Gfycat

For the record, these bears are usually motivating by food.  The MDC has these recommendations to avoid attracting one:

  • Stash and latch trash. Store garbage, recyclables, and compost inside a secure building or in a bear-proof container until trash pick-up day.
  • Keep grills and smokers clean and store them inside.
  • Don’t leave pet food outside. Feed pets a portion at each meal and remove the empty containers.
  • Refrain from using birdfeeders in bear country from April through November. If in use, hang them at least 10 feet high and 4 feet away from any structure. Keep in mind that even if a bear cannot get to the feeder, the scent could still attract it to the area.
  • Use electric fencing to keep bears away from beehives, chicken coops, vegetable gardens, orchards, and other potential food sources.
  • Keep campsites clean and store all food, toiletries and trash in a secure vehicle or strung high between two trees. Do not keep food or toiletries in a tent, and do not burn or bury garbage or food waste.

If you are going to be outdoors in the southern area there are more tips if you are in bear country.  You can click HERE for those and more info on what the MDC suggests.  Bottom line: Try and avoid them, do not engage them and just let them be.

WATCH OUT: These are the deadliest animals in the world

More From KIX 105.7