FILE - Bruno the bear, Illinois, Missouri

MDC State Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Sherri Russel monitors the condition of the bear named “Bruno” by social media after the animal was sedated on July 5. The bear was then safely transported and released unharmed to suitable habitat outside the urban area.

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(The Center Square) – Bruno the bear – who picked up 150,000 Facebook followers during a 400-mile trek through Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri – will be relocated after getting trapped and tranquilized near two interstate highways in Missouri.

Biologists say the bear traveled 400 miles through 4 states in search of a mate. That is about the same distance between Moline and Cairo, Illinois.

Stefanie Fitzsimons, a wildlife biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, said it is unusual for a bear to travel that far.

“Usual males will wonder a distance to find a mate, but certainly through four different states, that’s definitely a rare situation,” Fitzsimons said.

The bear became a social media star, with a following of more 150,000 people on Facebook, as it made its way south. Members of the group are researching whether Bruno set a record for the longest migration by a black bear.

Fitzsimons said Bruno get assistance from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources staff members while in Illinois to keep him safe.

“Pretty much being bear security, and Illinois State Police helped get him across the interstate and there was a lot of law enforcement involved in helping him reach Missouri,” she said.

Fitzsimons said there is a bear population in Missouri, so Bruno could finally find a mate.

“I would think that he will definitely fulfill his duties as a bear to find a mate in his new territory,” she said.

This article originally ran on thecentersquare.com.

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