(Joplin, Mo.) — Thursday evening a little after 5:00 PM a resident in the 3100 bk East 11th Street spotted a black bear in a wooded area. Peters Ave and Rex Ave run parallel, between is a wooded area where the hunt was on and our Joplin News First cameras caught it all.
We chose not to go LIVE! to avoid gathering a crowd and spooking the bear. The goal of officials was to capture it alive and relocate the bear. Sgt Dan Haskins of the Joplin Police Department told us they were attempting to tranquilize the bear. But it didn’t seem to slow him down.
“It’s an issue for the residents as well as the bear itself. It’s unsafe for everybody,” Sgt Haskins says. “It came within a couple of blocks off Rangeline.”
These agencies came together Thursday for the 4-hour hunt. Joplin Animal Control, Jasper County Animal Control, Missouri Department of Conservation, Duquesne Police Department and the Joplin Police Department.
“We were able to use catch-poles, put those on the bear, and then able to get him secured into a vehicle. And now the bear is being released to the Missouri Department of Conservation.”
Wednesday when the bear was spotted near Whispering Pines Senior Living, 4904 East Wellridge Lane, we talked to Duquesne Police Chief Tommy Kitsch. And he was guessing the bear to be a few years old? A juvenile bear?
Sgt Haskins states, “I’m not a bear expert, we were thinking a 130-150 lb bear. Missouri Department of Conservation, who were with us, thought this to be a pretty young bear, a few years old.”
“And nobody was hurt. The bear seemed to be fine. He was breathing and still being a bear, (he smiles and laughs) when we got him into the truck.”
The Missouri Department of Conservation reminds all Missourians to be proactive and “Be Bear Aware.” … If you see a bear, let the animal be and enjoy the sighting, but be sure to not offer it any food.”
Other tips when you spot a bear? Who to contact? Click to visit our story from July 1 when a bear was located just South of Joplin. It’s called Bears on the move: Newton County, Missouri.