PLEASANT HILL, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation has confirmed a black bear sighting over the weekend in Cass County, Missouri, well north of where sightings are more typical.
Passing through on his tadpole recumbent bike, Scott Wright said he has mainly seen one animal.
“Squirrels, squirrels, squirrels. Matter of fact, I almost ran over a squirrel,” Wright said, with a laugh.
But there is more variety in the woods. Walker Aldrige caught sight of the black bear on a trail camera near Missouri Highway 58 and Purvis Road.
When told about the black bear sighting, this was Wright’s reaction: “That doesn’t surprise me at all. This is just good open country for wildlife to meander along. Plenty of water.”
But feelings are different for people living near Pleasant Hill their whole lives.
One woman who lives off Purvis Road said they don’t see a lot of wildlife in the area.
“I just thought someone was making a joke,” she said. “We barely see deer over here.”
Debbie Behee, who also lives nearby, said she plans to be on the lookout, but she’s not too concerned. In fact, she’s somewhat excited about the more northern appearance of an animal that’s more consistently seen south of Interstate 44.
“There’s a bear,” Behee said with a laugh. “Not everybody has a bear.”
The city posted about the bear on Facebook because it’s concerned about people coming to use the trail and coming in contact.
“This is a really busy road off of Purvis [road]. It’s the main road that they go to park,” one woman said, pointing to the Rock Island Spur Trail.
“They’ll work their way up here but I don’t think we have anything to be concerned about or anything,” Wright said.
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“I’d love to see a bear. That’d be great. We’ve been to Alaska and we’ve seen the grizzlies and the bears up there. But yeah, this would be great,” Wright said.
Here’s what the city is telling people: