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Home of the Lions, now a bear, oh my...

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While Mansfield is typically known for being the home of the lions due to its school mascot, it can now add a bear to the list after one was photographed on a trail camera just 1.5 miles from the four-way intersection on Highway 5.

The photo was taken at 10:14 a.m. on Thursday, June 18 just a little south of Slate Dr. on a deer trail camera owned by Cassia Schmeeckle. Schmeeckle added that the sighting was approximately 200 yards from her home.

The bear can be seen standing up on his hind legs reaching into a tree. That same day, the bear tore the camera from the tree it was on. Schmeeckle said she had never seen a bear on her trail camera before that day, but did have a neighbor say he saw one in 2014.

“I called the MDC (Missouri Department of Conservation) after this sighting to ask for advice,” she said. “She just said to enjoy the wildlife unless the bear became a nuisance. She said I could also continue feeding the deer after a couple of days from the original sighting.”

So with that advice, Schmeeckle went to check on her camera again two days later on Saturday, June 20.

To her surprise, she was walking on the deer trail when the bear walked in front of her just 30 yards away. She said it looked at her before turning the other way and running off.

“Needless to say, after being that close, I have ridden the mower down there since then to make more noise,” Schmeeckle said.

Since the two sightings, Schmeeckle has checked her camera frequently, but did not have anymore signs of a visitor.

That was until she went to check on the trail camera before talking with the Wright County Journal last Friday night. Schmeeckle confirmed she has more photos of the bear’s return to the area.

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