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spectr17
07-01-2008, 01:13 AM
Wandering Bear Killed On Highway In Forsyth County

6/30/08

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Georgia - A black bear killed on Ga. 20 near Cumming Friday morning is apparently the same one recently spotted in Cobb and Fulton counties, and it was definitely far from home, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division.

The incident raised to four the number of bears hit on Atlanta-area roads since late May.

Ken Riddleberger, a regional game management supervisor with Wildlife Resources, said the bear in Forsyth County had two ear tags. "We ran them and they show she came out of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park," Riddleberger said.

The adult female was also wearing a radio collar marked with white tape, identifying her as the animal that roamed northern metro Atlanta the past few weeks, spurring sightings and news stories.

Details were not immediately available on when the bear had been tagged and in what part of the national park located in Tennessee and North Carolina. The surprise for biologists is that the bear was a female. Most black bears that wander into suburban areas are males. In spring and early summer, they follow wooded river corridors in search of food and territory free of more dominant bears, sometimes ending up in neighborhoods and office parks.

Riddleberger said this bear "was in pretty bad shape." She weighed only about 100 pounds and had a thin coat marred by mange.

The bear was reported as a road-kill at 11 a.m. Friday, on Ga. 20 just west of Cumming. The animal had been sighted about an hour earlier. Wildlife Resources recovered the carcass and will bury it.

Georgia's primary bear areas include the north Georgia mountains, the Ocmuglee River drainage system in central Georgia and the Okefenokee Swamp in southeastern Georgia. But black bears sometimes range across larger areas, especially in the spring when natural food sources are scarce and young males are searching for territories to establish as their own.

Recent bear sightings in the metro Atlanta area underscore the importance of residents bear-proofing their garbage and making other non-natural food items such as birdseed and pet food inaccessible to bears. Keeping these easy meals out of reach helps avoid human-bear conflicts and can add years to the lives of Georgia's magnificent black bears.

The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is the most common bear in North America and the only bear found in Georgia. But at one point the species was nearly eradicated from the state by poaching and habitat loss. Thanks to sound wildlife management practices, Georgia's current black bear population has grown to an estimated 2,500 animals.

For more information on black bears, visit http://www.georgiawildlife.com, contact a Wildlife Resources Game Management office or call (770) 918-6416. The public also can check out a copy of the informational DVD "Where Bears Belong: Black Bears in Georgia" at their local library.

Media Contact:
Robin Hill, Communications Program Manager (770) 918-6789 or robin.hill@gadnr.org

pbrdog
07-01-2008, 07:41 AM
I can just see the headlines when the ACLU gets ahold of this. "Black Bear killed by KKK in Forsyth County".