Bear cub sighting now believed to have been dogs

A report that two bear cubs were spotted early this morning on the playground of a Columbia County apartment complex turned out to be false.

Columbia County Emergency and Operations Director Pam Tucker said this afternoon that officials believe the suspected cubs were actually dogs.

A resident of Blue Ridge Commons, on Commons Drive in Evans, had reported seeing what were described as bear cubs about 2 a.m.

“I truly believe they really thought it was bear cubs, but no,” Mrs. Tucker said in an e-mail.

The manager of the apartment complex provided photos of paw prints that state Department of Natural Resources officials identified as belonging to dogs.

“Bears have five toes,” Mrs. Tucker said of the four-toed pictures.

Last month, a black bear officials dubbed Columbo created a community stir as it trekked through Columbia County.

Several sightings of the bear were reported to authorities, but it was last seen on June 19 near Old Washington and Clanton roads.

Those spotting a bear should refrain from chasing it on foot or in a vehicle and give it plenty of space, Mrs. Tucker said.

DNR officials advise that residents should remove dogs from the areas of bear sightings, remove all dog and cat foods from outside porches or yards, and put trash out on the day of pick-up by garbage collectors.

Anyone who spots a bear should immediately notify the Department of Natural Resources’ Thomson office at (706) 667-4672; or dial the county’s 311 help line and a county official will notify DNR.

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