He had traveled in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, swimming the Mississippi River four times, before getting cornered between two interstates and drawing a crowd of hundreds in the Wentzville area last July. Since that was dangerous for both bear and audience, Missouri wildlife officials tranquilized the bear and had him relocated.
“He got in a spot in a bunch of highways on the July Fourth weekend,” recalled Jason Sumners of the Missouri Department of Conservation.
He was released not far from St. Louis, in the northeast corner of the Ozark Mountains, Sumners said.
Facebook fans tracked the bear south through Arkansas, as well.
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He was an odd bear, said Kline. He seemed to prefer farm fields and groves to forests, and never went for the easy pickings of trash cans and dumpsters.
“This bear never bothered anybody or anything, not one time,” she said. “He walked through towns, through convenience store parking lots, and never bothered anyone.”
A couple of times, she said, members were able to get police to hold up traffic to let Bruno cross highways.
“He was certainly not fearful of roadways,” Sumners said.
Bruno’s injuries made the cause of death all too clear.