Bear that once roamed area killed in Alabama

A black bear from Florida that was tranquilized and captured in June off Augusta's Mike Padgett Highway did not fare so well last week in northern Alabama.

"He ended up in Alabama and was killed," said Georgia wildlife biologist Vic VanSant, who helped capture the bear at Richmond County's 4-H camp June 23 and later released it near Helen, Ga.

The 250-pound male bear had an ear tag when it was captured in Augusta, and biologists later learned it had been captured and tagged last fall at Pinhook Swamp near St. George, Fla.

In Augusta, the bear was treed by dogs and tranquilized with a dart. Then it passed out draped over a limb more than 60 feet up a tree, and Richmond County Fire Department officials helped rescue it.

Mr. VanSant drove the bear to north Georgia in hopes it would remain in unpopulated areas.

Last week, however, it ended up in a neighborhood near Athens, Ala., and was again chased up a tree.

This time, officers shot and killed it, according to The Associated Press.

Capt. Johnny Johnson of the Alabama Department of Conservation said officers deemed the bear dangerous because it had lost its fear of humans, the AP account stated.

Officers did not have a tranquilizer gun, so they opted to kill the bear instead.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119 or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.