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Bear spotted in southern Illinois as sightings rise near St. Louis

By Joey Schneider,

2023-06-06

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, Ill. – Another day, another bear sighting not too far from St. Louis. One was spotted roaming around southern Illinois over the weekend.

The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office says one person spotted a bear around 8:30 p.m. Saturday near Evansville, Illinois. Deputies investigated the call, then determined a bear had traveled through the area.

Conservation agents say bears are very active throughout the spring. Their population has been rising around Missouri and the St. Louis region in recent years. That includes sightings in Kirkwood in 2021, Rolla last year and Festus just this year, though the bear in Festus was fatally struck by a driver .

Randolph County deputies remind people not to make contact with any bear you might see. Conservation agents also note not to feed bears food as it could lead them to search for more food and damage property along the way.

If you spot a bear in Illinois, click here to fill out information. If you spot a bear in Missouri, click here to fill out information.

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