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A Bear's Journey Home Continues Through Neosho (So Leave Him Alo - KOAM TV 7

A Bear's Journey Home Continues Through Neosho (So Leave Him Alone)

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Courtesy:  Cody Landt Courtesy: Cody Landt
Courtesy:  Cody Landt Courtesy: Cody Landt
Courtesy:  Mark Krueger Courtesy: Mark Krueger
NEOSHO, MISSOURI -

Many Neosho area residents are on the lookout for a bear that has been roaming around.  One man in particular almost came face-to-face with this bear.  The man we met has lived in Neosho his entire life and never thought something like this would happen.  He learned otherwise...in a heart-stopping way.

This bear.  Talk about gutsy!  "My dog is a Mastiff and he weighs 175 pounds," says Neosho resident Mark Krueger.  "He (bear) was quite a bit bigger than that.  I' say around 200, 220."  Krueger lives in the city limits of Neosho.

"I just finished spraying grass killer and I was moving the trash can back, when all of a sudden I hear a car horn blaring," says Krueger.  "So I inspect it, I just walked around the corner (to the front of the house), stood right here, and all of a sudden I see a huge black bear run in front of me!  He tried to fit in between my truck and my garage door, but ended up slamming into the garage door.  I stepped back, waited on him, then slowly peeked around the corner."

The bear eventually ran toward a neighbor's backyard.

Krueger says he had never been that much afraid before.  "I was frozen in my tracks for a good 15 second."

"So far, to date, I have had no reports of any damage...not getting into trash cans, bird feeders," says Jerid Wilkinson with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Wilkinson has reported upwards of eight bear sightings since Wednesday in the Neosho area.  He's pretty confident the reports center around one bear...with a bumpy past.

"Usually a young male who has been kicked out by the family or who has been challenged by another adult male," says Wilkinson.

The bear seen in the Neosho area could've already traveled up to 150 miles from elsewhere in Missouri.  What conservation officials are saying is:  This bear is trying to get outta here.

  "A lot of the reason he probably hasn't gone further is because he keeps bumping into civilization and getting rerouted," says Wilkinson.

Conservation officials won't try to capture the bear.  "It didn't seem like he wanted to harm me," says Krueger.  "He just wanted to get away."

Humans want him to get away.  The bear wants to get away.  Hopefully time ends up being the solution.

Conservation officials say if you encounter a bear, try to calm yourself.  Stay back.  If the bear starts coming close to you, make loud noises.  The bear should move away, as long as it's not cornered or in a confined area.

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