MSU scientists search for bears in Missouri

By The Associated Press

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State University scientists have been on a bear hunt in in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.

They’re using hair snares and culvert traps to get a handle on the number of black bears in the Ozarks, while refining techniques for a census to be done in Mississippi.

They also want to learn how bears roam their home ranges and colonize unoccupied habitat.

Study leader Jerrold Belant says about 380 snares designed to snip hair from passing bears were set up over the summer and checked every 10 days. Fish oil and other scents are used to attract bears into a small triangle of wire at the right height to snag belly fur.

The University of Missouri is analyzing the DNA to determine how many bears entered the snares.