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Bruno The Bear Has Traveled Over 400 Miles Alone & No One's Really Sure Why

Photo: cristian zamfir / Shutterstock.com    
Bruno The Bear Has Traveled Over 400 Miles Alone & No One's Really Sure Why

Interestingly, a black bear named Bruno has traveled over 400 miles and no one quite knows why. 

In Cape Girardeau, Missouri, KFVS News 12 reported that Bruno has become Facebook famous and social media popular with his page called "Keeping Bruno Safe." 

His Facebook page was created on June 19, 2020, now has over 150,000 members, which has grown more than 10,000 members in one week alone. 

The group makes it a point to say, "This group is to keep track of Bruno & to keep him safe. Anyone caught tracking, chasing, or bothering him in any way will be banned from this group. Post pics & approximately where he was spotted."

The Illinois Department of Natural resources has tracked Bruno over 400 miles and he is still going. 

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He was spotted on Thursday, June 2, 2020 by the Winfield Missouri Police Department. They think he is heading to the Heartland.

Gloria Straube posted to his Facebook page, "Missouri is here ready to help Bruno during his quest to find "her" and a new territory. Black Bears have poor eyesight, but they compensate for this with an acute sense of smell and excellent hearing. They exhibit a high level of sophistication and intelligence through their methods of obtaining food and navigating large territories and rough terrain. Despite their large size, black bears are physically agile, and quite adept at scaling rocks, climbing trees, and swimming. If you see him, please give him space. #TeamBruno"

Also, Angela Pierce is a naturalist at the Missouri Department of Conservation. She told KFVS News 12 that she thinks he is looking for a home.

She said, "So, areas like our Ozark Mountains, the Mark Twain National Forest, those are areas that are good bear habitat." 

Pierce also warns that if people come in contact with Bruno that “The best thing is, is to give bears distance. Give them an escape route. Bears are wild animals and they don’t like to be around people."

Pierce also warns that even though he may look cute, he is still a black bear and is very dangerous. 

She also has stated, "It's important for Missourians to remember we want them to stay wild." 


So, ummm... there is a bear named Bruno, who is currently on a strange mission. He has traveled over 400 miles in just a couple of weeks, which is VERY odd behavior for a bear. Bruno is now in CENTRAL MISSOURI as of today!!! He is being tracked by conservation at all times- to keep him safe, so we can find out where he is going and why!! You can join the group "Keeping Bruno safe" for updates. Welcome to Missouri Bruno! 
**ETA- He is a very peaceful black bear, and has not approached a single person on his journey. He is staying close to the river, heading south through towns, neighborhoods, and conservation areas. If spotted, please let him continue on his way!!!!"

But why is he actually traveling such long miles? 

Dan Zarlenga works with the Missouri Department of Conservation told Fox4kc that "It's not uncommon for bears to travel across the state of Missouri. During this time of year, young male bears often travel to find their territory and mate."

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Daryl Ratajczak posted on the "Keeping Bruno Safe" Facebook page, "For those wondering about Bruno... This is a wonderful page to follow if you want to learn more about bear behavior and other wildlife. They teach numerous online wildlife classes, by real wildlife biologists too! Give them a like if you’re interested."

Ratajczak is a bear biologist who also told the story with some awesome points. 

"The 'Why' of Bruno," Ratajczak wrote, continuing, "As a bear biologist who specializes in bear behavior, I have been asked by multiple people to explain the great walkabout exhibited recently by Bruno the bear...

"Typically a biologist will go into a long and detailed description explaining how young black bears, especially males, are often kicked out of their home territory when they come of age. This often leads them on wayward journeys, sometimes of epic proportions. We once observed a young male bear come off the Cumberland Plateau and do a giant walkabout in middle Tennessee completely encircling the city of Nashville. His adventure covered hundreds of miles until he finally settled down going back to the plateau where he first began. This does not appear to be Bruno, for he is a fairly large and magnificent creature and appears well beyond his “younger years.”

"Some biologists may also explain that bears have an incredible homing instinct, often returning to their point of capture. They may even tell the tale of Bear #75, a huge male bear that was captured after getting into trouble in East Tennessee. He was moved multiple times, further and further away, once as far as Virginia, yet he still tried returning home. Again, his journey covered hundreds and hundreds of miles. Returning home is not just a trait of adult bears either. Heck, I lost an injured cub once through an unfortunate “open door” incident only to find he returned home 22 air miles away. All that on a broken leg too... which healed just fine by the way. But alas, Bruno was not known to have been captured and moved.

"This is where we must take off the technical thinking cap of a biologist and don the mindful thinking cap of a teacher. We must try to explain the unexplainable in the best way possible, so here goes... the bottom line is, there are some things we simply cannot explain. 

"Yes, bears just like most animals, have routine behaviors, but they are also individuals. This is hammered home in all of our behavior and safety classes. Though we can predict with some degree of certainty, we can never say for sure exactly how a bear is going to react. Sometimes they do unexplained things. Here’s the best part... that’s what makes them unpredictable but it is also what makes them beautiful. They capture your attention and they keep you wondering. In today’s world, that is a good thing, a very good thing. It keeps our imaginations alive!

"So why did Bruno go on this epic journey?

"No one knows for sure but there is one thing we can all agree on, he made us think about some of the simpler things in life. He took our mind off other things in life and because of his journey, I am so very thankful."

Ashley Jarrett, a resident of Cape Girardeau, told KFVS News 12 "I’d probably be very confused at first and then i would probably try to keep him safe and help redirect traffic or something because that’s amazing that a bear would travel so far." 

And another resident said, "At first I'd be kind of alarmed, but then I'd become best friends with it to make sure it has a safe home." 

It's most important for people to remember that bears are super dangerous, especially black bears, and never get too close.

So, if you see Bruno in the Area, take a pic and post it and his location to his Facebook page so everyone can keep track of where Bruno is. 

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Emily Francos is a writer who covers relationships, pop culture, and news topics.