Big Bear - No PFD
A 400-pound male black bear was found dead against a root wad in the Current River on Sunday.
Now, Missouri game officials will do some detective work to find out what happened.
"Some fishermen yesterday morning spotted the bear stuck in a root wad about 7 or 8 miles below Van Buren," said Mark Wilcoxon, conservation officer with Missouri Department of Conservation. "I didn't even know if it was going to be a bear. The last three dead-bear calls turned out to be wild hogs."
But this one was definitely a bear.
Wilcoxon said the people who found the bear dragged it to their camp, where game officials decided what to do with it.
"It was a 400-pound male with no visible injuries. It was healthy," Wilcoxon said. "The river was up about a foot and was moving a lot quicker than normal. I've seen a lot of animals that drowned, and I'd be really surprised if it was something else with this bear."
The bear, which was not wearing an MDC tracking collar, will undergo a necropsy on Thursday in Columbia to determine how it died, what it had been eating and possibly where it came from. A DNA sample will help add to MDC's understanding of how Missouri's wild black bears are doing in the state.
MDC has been conducting an ongoing research project on the state's black bears, and their numbers appear to be growing.