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It’s no surprise that black bears live in Taney County.

But the Hollister Police Department issued an alert to residents asking them to keep an eye out for a young black bear that was roaming the city Monday.

“The cub was located in the City of Hollister near Evergreen & Ahner,” the department posted on its Facebook Page. “If spotted please do not engage. Stay away! Please contact us directly at 417-334-6565.”

Josh Wisdom, a conservation department wildlife damage biologist, said he saw the police department post but hasn’t been contacted by the city about the bear.

“I called Hollister PD and they said it was just there yesterday and was seen around town,” Wisdom said. “From the photo it looks like a year-and-a-half-old male just traveling around as it disperses through the area.”

Wisdom said the bear appeared to be healthy and was akin to a young teenager “trying to grow into its body.”

He said the bear was likely scavenging for food and encouraged Hollister residents to remove attractants like bird feeders, trash and outside pet food until the bear moves on.

He wasn’t surprised that people are seeing a black bear in town.

“There’s a lot of bears down there in Christian and Taney counties,” he said. “We’re seeing a 9 percent population growth in black bears, especially in that southern area. We get them there in Hollister every summer. I videotaped a young black bear going over the fence at the OTC campus.”

Wisdom said people can report bear sightings to MDC online. The reports help conservation agents track where bears are spotted and how they’re moving. 

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