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      Group educates public about black bears in Missouri

      Black bears are making a comeback in Missouri.
      A group founded last month in Columbia is trying to educate Missourians about black bears, which are moving farther north into the state.

      As part of a seven-year effort to count the bears' population in the state, The Missouri Department of Conservation began trying to trap female bears last week to count their numbers.

      And the Missouri Black Bear Foundation held its first meeting last month. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the foundation plans to conduct educational programs, as well as do research projects.

      Jim Karpowicz, the foundation's outreach coordinator, says chances are increasing that Missourians will see black bears, which can weigh up to 700 pounds.

      He says anyone who sees a black bear should not feed it, and report the sighting to the state conservation department.