Rare bear cub snarls traffic

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 | 11:53 a.m. CDT; updated 9:15 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

ADVANCE, Mo.—Traffic jams are rare in rural southern Missouri. Leave it to a bear cub to cause one.

A young black bear climbed a tree next to Route 25 Monday afternoon near Advance. Four officers from the Missouri Department of Conservation arrived to make sure there was no contact between the bear and about 60 curious local residents, whose vehicles lined the side of the highway.

Conservation officer Ken West says black bears are a novelty in the region. He advised residents to leave it alone unless it began destroying property.

West says the bear was probably chased off by his mother because she was preparing to breed again. When that happens, the young male has to go off on his own and search for new territory.

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