Travis Mills, a Missouri Department of Conservation agent, with a bear that sustained serious injuries when it was struck a van. The bear had to be shot because of the seriousness of its injuries. It weighed 540 pounds.

A black bear was hit recently by a van near the Howell and Texas County line.

Authorities said it was unusually big for bears found in Missouri.

It took three conservation agents to drag the bear and five to load it into the back of a truck. Its official weight: 540 pounds. It is estimated to be 8 years ago.

“It is quite humbling to most people to realize we have animals of this stature roaming our Ozarks hills,” said Travis Mills, a conservation agent.

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