A black bear briefly trapped by Missouri wildlife experts has trekked about 200 miles across the state over the past two years, managing to cross the Missouri River along the way.
The bear nicknamed “Gummy” by Tom Kemper’s family was trapped, sedated and inspected Monday on the family’s Warren County farm west of St. Louis, nine days after a man who cuts hay on Kemper’s land spotted the bear, St. Louis’ KTVI reported.
The bear, proven by Monday’s checkup to be in good health, then was released where he was found, said Tom Meister, a Missouri Department of Conservation wildlife biologist. Had the bear posed any threat or caused trouble, Meister said, the animal would have been relocated.
Meister said the bear first was captured and tagged two years ago in Christian County near Springfield, a couple hundred miles from Kemper’s farm. Somehow along that way, the bear managed to swim across the Missouri River or cross that waterway by bridge.
There are about 300 black bears believed to be in Missouri and among just 80 or so to be tracked by satellite through a special collar.