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Fourth bear in recent weeks found dead as population increases in Missouri

A 400-pound male black bear was found dead Sunday in the Current River near the southern Missouri town of Van Buren. (MGN Online)

Bears are suddenly showing up across Missouri, dead and alive, and an expert says it's in large part due to male bears looking for love, sometimes in new places.

A 400-pound male black bear was found dead Sunday in the Current River near the southern Missouri town of Van Buren. On Monday, one and maybe two bears wandered into a mobile home park south of St. Louis. And three times in recent weeks, bears were found dead on southwestern Missouri roadways.

Missouri's bear population is slowly increasing. But Missouri Department of Conservation bear expert Laura Conlee said it's the time of year, not the rising number of bears, that's causing all the sightings. In late spring and early summer, adult males roam around in search of breeding partners.

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