WALKER, Mo. — “He came out of a little hay field not far from my house, ” says Issac Wilkins of Walker, Mo.
“I just saw him run across the road. It kind of looked like a panther at first,” says 11-year-old Kipton Brooks.
However, it wasn’t a panther Brooks and his cousin, Issac, saw wander across the road last Wednesday when they rode down Highway C in Walker with their grandmother.
“You can tell by the way it walked that it was a bear!” exclaims Eva Fritts laughingly.
That’s right, the family says they saw a big, black bear in their neighborhood.
Issac quickly grabbed his cellphone, carefully stood about 100 yards away and snapped several pictures of the bear before it disappeared in a cornfield.
The unusual bear sighting has made front page news in Walker’s local newspaper.
“When they move around and kind of roll their bodies and that’s what he was doing, and I was like yeah that’s a bear,” Issac told Fox 4’s Robert Townsend during an interview Wednesday.
“He had a flat head, little ears, a long snout and a short face. Did he growl at you? No, he was more scared of us that we were of him, “added Issac.
A Missouri Department of Conservation agent also took a picture of the bear’s paw print.
Researchers say black bears are typically shy, wild and unpredictable.
Currently, it’s estimated there are more than 200 in the Show Me State. They’re more popular in southern Missouri, so when one makes an unusual trek this far north it’s one for the record books.
“Nuts, berries, bugs, small birds, small animals, anything they can can catch, they’ll eat., ” Randy Wisthoff, the Director of the Kansas City Zoo told FOX 4.
“If black bears know you’re coming they’ll get out of your way. They don’t look for humans to attack and they’re not going to eat you. They are omnivores, which means they eat animal protein and vegetation, ” says Wisthoff.
Issac Wilkins wishes he could see the black bear one more time.
“He’s going somewhere. Oh, yeah I’d love to see him again. I think it would be cool!” says Wilkins.
Chances are you won’t see a black bear in your backyard anytime soon, but if you do, call the Missouri Department of Conservation.