Wildlife experts say black bears wandering into Kansas from Missouri and Oklahoma will likely become established residents of the state within the next decade.
Two bears were documented in southeast Kansas and another along the Colorado border as recently as two summers ago. For most of the past 15 years, bears only have been seen in extreme southwest Kansas.
Experts say the possibility of Kansas having a permanent population of bears could cause safety problems. Neither Oklahoma nor Missouri have reported bear attacks recently, but experts are advising residents in those states on how to protect pets and livestock from the wild animal.
Wildlife officials say bears still deserve respect and that most people appreciate having bears around.
Associated Press Information from: The Wichita Eagle