Iowa’s wildlife became more diverse in recent weeks with the migration of out-of-state species.

Residents spotted a black bear, apparently from southern Wisconsin, in northeast Iowa around the Yellow River Forest in Allamakee County.

Also discovered within days was a moose, who apparently defected from up north.

State wildlife officials warned people not to feed the bear and issued safety tips for bear encounters (No. 8: Don’t run or climb a tree).

The main piece of advice cautions Iowans against feeding the bear, as in giving them goodies from a picnic basket (there were no safety tips for the moose, even though he’s from Minnesota).

The Yellow River Forest area is suitable habitat for the bear, and he can find enough naturally occurring food, wildlife officials said.

This brings us to the big questions.

First how did he get to from Wisconsin to Iowa, a journey that would involve crossing the Mississippi River in some fashion.

I imagine him waiting next to a bridge in the middle of the night and ducking oncoming headlights. When the coast is finally clear, he shuffles across the span. From there he follows the highways and the brown DNR signs pointing the way to Yellow River.

It’s too early in the season for the river to freeze over for an ice bridge, but he could have swiped a motorboat from a cabin on the shore and putted across.

Another possibility includes hitchhiking over with a trucker or stowing away in an Iowa-bound railcar.

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