LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — A big, unexpected visitor was seen by at least neighbors in the Eagle Creek subdivision near Southwest Pryor Road and Hook in Lee’s Summit.
The incident happened on June 28 when Kelly Greeninger said she was driving down the road when she couldn’t believe what she saw.
“I know it was a bear,” Greeninger said. “I know what I saw.”
Greeninger said around 4:30 p.m., she saw a black bear coming out of an open field and trekking to another one. The sighting happened just down the road from Hawthorn Hill Elementary School.
“I slowed down. I had my iPhone, and I was like… he’s gonna come out. I mean, there’s nowhere else to go. It’s a field, but he didn’t come out.”
The bear disappeared so fast Greeninger said she couldn’t snap a photo.
“Everybody asks for a picture. I’m like, ‘No.’ I feel like that person, you know, that saw Big Foot. It’s all blurry, no. I wish I had a blurry picture!”
But Greeninger wasn’t alone.
“I think in my head it registered that it was a bear because I dreamed about it that night,” said Tammy McCoy, who also said she saw the bear. However, McCoy said she saw the bear on the opposite end of Pryor Road, near their subdivision, chomping on something.
“He was bent over and all I saw was his bottom up in the air and his tail.”
The Missouri Department of Conservation said a black bear in this area would be a rare sight to see.
“We have no tracks, no scat, no photos, so we have not confirmed in any way that a black bear has been seen out in Lee’s Summit,” said Bill Graham.
But Greeninger knows what she saw.
“It was a bear. No question.”
Despite no concrete evidence from authorities, the two neighbors say they have warned others that live nearby.
Black bears are commonly seen in the Ozarks and are not known to venture this far north.