It began with one of those weird things you hear people say that require you to research and find out if it's really true. I heard someone mention that bear wrestling is illegal in Missouri. After some digging, I can confirm they're not making that up.

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When you hear something like "please don't bear wrestle", that means someone has either tried it or asked about it in Missouri. Since I was born and raised in the Show Me State, I don't doubt it for one second. I have multiple sources, but here's the statute as it reads in Missouri state law 578.176 according to Law Server:

1. A person commits the offense of bear wrestling if he or she:

(1) Wrestles a bear;

(2) Permits bear wrestling to be done on any premises under his or her charge or control;

(3) Promotes, conducts, or stages bear wrestling;

(4) Advertises bear wrestling;

(5) Collects any admission fee for bear wrestling;

(6) Purchases, sells, or possesses a bear which he or she knows will be used for bear wrestling;

(7) Trains a bear for bear wrestling;

(8) Subjects a bear to surgical alteration for bear wrestling.

In case you think this is made up, it's on the actual Missouri state website also because why not? It's also been covered by Inside Edition among other sites that are now laughing at us.

I've done additional research and learned that bear wrestling does have a history which includes Arkansas (of course). Little Rock, specifically. You can also find bear wrestling history on The Bleacher Report if you want to explore this further.

As for bear wrestling in Missouri, don't even think about it. Otherwise, you'll be breaking the law, mister.

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