A group founded last month in Columbia is trying to educate Missourians about black bears.
As part of a seven-year effort to count the bears' population in the state, The Missouri Department of Conservation began trying to trap female bears last week to count their numbers. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the Missouri Black Bear Foundation plans to conduct educational programs, as well as do research projects on the bears, which are moving farther north into the state. Jim Karpowicz, the foundation's outreach coordinator, says chances are increasing that Missourians will see black bears, which can weigh up to 700 pounds. He says anyone who sees a black bear should not feed it, and report the sighting to the state conservation department.