Bear on the move again in Columbia County

A wandering black bear that toured several Columbia County subdivisions Monday was on the move again today.

"We've just gotten a report from Ron Jones that it was seen behind the Columbia County School of Ballet," said Pam Tucker, the county's Emergency Services director.

The ballet school, in the 600 block of Fury's Ferry Road, is in the general vicinity of where the animal was seen Monday by numerous residents. The bear passed the school around 11:20 a.m.

Wildlife authorities say the bear is probably a male weighing about 150 pounds and probably 2 years old. Such bears commonly wander portions of the state outside their normal habitat range in late spring and early summer in an instinctive search for new companions.

If the bear is left alone, it will continue to move and eventually will leave the area, Mrs. Tucker said.

"Right now it looks like it's moving in the right direction," she said, noting that the bear might be able to cross the Savannah River. "If it could get across the river he'd be in Sumter National Forest," she said.

Anyone seeing the bear should simply leave it alone, she said.

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Bear spotted

In an effort to keep the public aware of the locations of bear sightings so his whereabouts are known:

10:59 a.m. – The bear was seen by Ron Jones, Columbia County School of Ballet, walking across their yard and into the woods at 639 Furys Ferry Road.

11 a.m. - The bear was seen at 11:00 a.m. crossing Furys Ferry Road into Jones Creek by Grainger salesman Steve Hair

11:19 a.m. – A citizen reported seeing the bear run across Furys Ferry Road and back into the woods near Earth Fare.

1:03 P.M. -- At 644 Kemper Drive in Saint Andrews behind Lakeside High School.

Please use caution while driving in this area.

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