Bears on the move: Newton County, Missouri

Joplin News First

June and July two year old male cubs are on the move to find a new habitat before winter arrives

Joplin News First tipster video from Sunday afternoon, June 30, at an undisclosed location in Newton County. Just about 3 miles south of Joplin city limits. Bears are on the move!

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation black bears are native to Missouri, they were nearly wiped out during settlement. Now they’re making a comeback.

So they might be on the move, but they call this area home too. Young males are kicked out of mama bear’s den and they look to find a new home by winter. Mama bear’s are called sow’s, and they would have to fight the younger bear for food. So goodbye young cub she says.

If you spot a bear here are some tips we have gathered from our past Joplin News First articles and the Missouri Department of Conservation.


  • Do not feed the bears
  • Do not leave out pet food
  • Store garbage in a secure building or bear proof container
  • Grills & smokers inside after use
  • See a bear? Report it online to the MDC


The MDC is studying the population and growth of the black bear. It’s called the black bear research project, CLICK here to report a bear sighting.

CLICK here to follow the Mo Black Bear Project and subscribe to updates on your email from the MDC.

“Since the initiation of the Missouri black bear research project in 2010 through June 30, 2017, MDC has marked 145 black bears and has deployed collars on over 90 bears.” 

At the beginning of the project the estimates were 300 black bears were living in Missouri but that number is growing. The goal will be to reach 500 bears. They keep track by trail cameras, GPS and radio collars.

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