Black Bear in Cades Cove in Great Smokey Mountain National Park

© William Wise |

West County Residents on Alert as Bears Come out of Hibernation

June 19, 2018 - 8:36 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Ballwin residents are keeping an eye out for the bear that police reported Sunday night.


Larry McRoy lives on Oak Run Lane where the bear was photographed by a neighbor.

“Police were here, and it ended up going over to Castle Pines and they found it lying down in the woods but other than that I don’t know any more about it,” he says.

In Castle Pines subdivision, Jill Hume says the bear was seen Sunday night in the woods behind a community swimming pool.

“We’re comforted in the fact that bears are probably more afraid of us than we are of them, and not to leave your pets or children out unsupervised, so it’s not a panic environment by any stretch. We’re fine, we'll make it through,” she says.  

Police are Ballwin residents to keep their pets in and don't put your trash out until trash night.


Tom Meister with the Missouri Department of Conservation says younger bears, males no more than 18 months, are coming up from the Ozarks because their mothers have kicked them out after hibernation.

 “These guys are out looking for their territory, out exploring, looking for food. They’re really hungry because they’ve been hibernating all winter so they’ve found their way to Ballwin and communities around,” he says.

There are about 350 bears in Missouri. Meister says the bear population isn't a problem now, but he says the state could consider a limited hunting season in the future.