Bear eludes would-be captors

Ga. DNR Wildlife Biologist I.B. Parnell discusses bear behavior and what to do in case of a sighting.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 8:02 AM
Last updated 4:00 PM
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Columbia County's wandering bear eluded authorities for a third day after traveling through subdivisions along Washington Road in Evans this morning.

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Woodbridge resident Mike Hollister took this photo of the bear Wednesday morning.  Mike Hollister/Special
Mike Hollister/Special
Woodbridge resident Mike Hollister took this photo of the bear Wednesday morning.

“He came down through Woodbridge, swam the pond and headed back out into the woods,” said Linda Fulmer, the county's animal care and control manager. It is likely the bear was pushed by curious residents hoping to catch a glimpse of the animal.

An hour earlier, he was spotted on Rocky Branch Lane in the Chimney Hill area and appeared to be headed toward Wal-Mart. By noon he was meandering through Silverlake subdivision moving west, toward the Savannah River and larger tracts of forest.

The bear's third day of wandering through densely populated Martinez and Evans persuaded authorities to ask that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources attempt to capture and relocate the animal, which is more than 100 miles from its nearest traditional habitat.

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, said Columbia County Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker.

“DNR has authorized Animal Control to use a tranquilizer that DNR provided to them if they can get close enough…and can do it safely,” she said. “The bear is moving fast. Everyone is asked to please stay away from the area while authorities do their best in this operation.”

DNR sent a team of biologists from the Thomson field office to help try to capture the bear. Typically, wandering bears can be tranquilized only if they climb a tree or enter a confined area, said Vic VanSant, a regional wildlife biologist. The group packed up and left the area about 1 p.m. after the bear could no longer be located.

Comments (38) Add comment
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REDRIDER
134
Points
REDRIDER 06/17/09 - 08:45 am
0
0
Maybe he will get his

Maybe he will get his bearings right.

Opinionated1234
0
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Opinionated1234 06/17/09 - 08:54 am
0
0
Please use caution. This bear

Please use caution. This bear needs to be taken out of this area. I'm going to use caution, alright. I drive a Suburdan and I plan to use plenty caution if this bear gets in my path.

Naysayer
0
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Naysayer 06/17/09 - 09:10 am
0
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Looks young...Opinionated,

Looks young...Opinionated, you are the reason we have environmentalist whack-jobs. Would it hurt you to drive around and call the authorities, rather than just attempting to solve the issue using the old Chinese student control methods?

wallcah
0
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wallcah 06/17/09 - 09:38 am
0
0
Sounds like he's just on the

Sounds like he's just on the prowl for some lovin! On a serious note, it seems like these black bears are slowly making their way into our area. I recall several articles over the past few years about them being spotted in the area. As long as DNR will open a season on them in our area, keep em comin!

oldenuff2nobetter
0
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oldenuff2nobetter 06/17/09 - 09:41 am
0
0
Run, Forest, Run!

Run, Forest, Run!

DEVGRU
0
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DEVGRU 06/17/09 - 09:41 am
0
0
Dumb opinionated1234 opinions

Dumb opinionated1234 opinions show a decline in brain function.

weatheringheights
0
Points
weatheringheights 06/17/09 - 10:08 am
0
0
Just leave the bear alone.

Just leave the bear alone. He's not hurting anyone. Eventually he will find his way to where he is going. The last time a bear was relocated the stupid local yocals in Alabama shot it.

GuyIncognito
1
Points
GuyIncognito 06/17/09 - 10:13 am
0
0
Why would a bear want to

Why would a bear want to leave on his own? There is a lot of food left out in neat little black cans for him to eat. Plus, everyone takes pictures of him, it his chance to be a star!

Naysayer
0
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Naysayer 06/17/09 - 10:57 am
0
0
Agreed, get 'em outta

Agreed, get 'em outta here...but don't kill it...just not needed.

Naysayer
0
Points
Naysayer 06/17/09 - 11:00 am
0
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Oh yeah...the bear would do

Oh yeah...the bear would do great harm to a Suburban...Being an Insurance Agent, I can tell you, opinionated...your suburban may not be covered, as you have just posted a perfect representation of a premeditated hazard.

smitty1861
4
Points
smitty1861 06/17/09 - 11:09 am
0
0
I do not understand why a

I do not understand why a bear is the biggest thing in the news. I saw 6 deer this morning why isn't that in the paper. Just leave the bear alone and it will eventually leave. In north Georgia seeing a bear is normal, they don't freak out and shoot it and move it to Tennessee. Save the tranquilizer for those guys that keep robbing people and relocate them.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 06/17/09 - 11:13 am
0
0
I wanna see officials capture
Unpublished

I wanna see officials capture that bear, put it on youtube!

Does_it_really_matter
1
Points
Does_it_really_matter 06/17/09 - 11:14 am
0
0
Please, PLEASE, P_L_E_A_S_E

Please, PLEASE, P_L_E_A_S_E someone get a video camera and follow the happy hunters (bear re-location specialists) and let's put it on YouTube! This should be funnier than anything there over the past few months! God love Columbia County folks, but they have no clue about how to handle a wild black bear other than a gun! LOLOL

andywarhol
0
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andywarhol 06/17/09 - 11:16 am
0
0
smitty, that is exactly what

smitty, that is exactly what I was thinking. Its common in other parts of the country and there isn't a need to freak out.

whoshere
0
Points
whoshere 06/17/09 - 11:21 am
0
0
I am LOL'ng at Naysayer's

I am LOL'ng at Naysayer's comment to Opinionated1234. You aren't so smart now are ya?

Wes
0
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Wes 06/17/09 - 11:24 am
0
0
Leave the bear ALONE! He is

Leave the bear ALONE! He is doing pretty darn good finding his way thru this heavily populated area without bothering anyone. He is not far from having clear space to go where he wants! If they wanted to relocate him they should have done it days ago when he was over in the burbs!

Wes
0
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Wes 06/17/09 - 11:27 am
0
0
... and avoiding rednecks in

... and avoiding rednecks in suburbans that need a new rug!

sjgraci
2
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sjgraci 06/17/09 - 11:40 am
0
0
Leave the damn bear alone.

Leave the damn bear alone.

sjgraci
2
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sjgraci 06/17/09 - 12:47 pm
0
0
Since when is using a synonym

Since when is using a synonym for the condemmed against the comments policy? And, what self-righteous hoity toity would report it as such?

lady_alessandra
0
Points
lady_alessandra 06/17/09 - 01:31 pm
0
0
Poor bear. Let's hope he

Poor bear. Let's hope he finds his way to a suitable habtitat

heartablazing
28
Points
heartablazing 06/17/09 - 02:14 pm
0
0
The bear is probably less of

The bear is probably less of a threat than these kids that have been shooting each other and robbing stores lately. leave the bear alone and he will go about his way. give him some honey and he might be a good "watch Bear" against the home invasitions that have been happening.

Dixieman
15006
Points
Dixieman 06/17/09 - 02:34 pm
0
0
Bear is looking for an

Bear is looking for an apartment to rent in Columbia County but will soon leave because it will never find one.

momma mia
2
Points
momma mia 06/17/09 - 03:16 pm
0
0
I hope they do catch him and

I hope they do catch him and take him some place where he'll be safe from the idiots in Columbia County who would either shoot him or run him over with their damned gas guzzling Suburbans. Humans are the reason wild animals wander into neighborhoods. We're slaughtering their habitats, and this is especially true in Columbia County.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 06/17/09 - 03:20 pm
0
0
for a joke someone needs to

for a joke someone needs to place a bear skin rug in the auditorium for the next commission meeting.

americafirst
966
Points
americafirst 06/17/09 - 05:53 pm
0
0
go bear! go!

go bear! go! freedooooommmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

frontporch
37
Points
frontporch 06/17/09 - 06:12 pm
0
0
Leave the bear alone.....and

Leave the bear alone.....and if Animal care and control get a hold of it....they will just kill it...that's their MO.

59Trumpet
0
Points
59Trumpet 06/17/09 - 08:10 pm
0
0
This is interesting news but

This is interesting news but as we see this is commonplace as we have seen in the past. If someone wants to research back to around'75 or '76 if my memory is correct a bear was shot at,shot or killed by Columbia County deputies and I believe a big media circus errupted with articles and an editorial cartoon picture being printed. Back then the Martinez/Evans area was more rural and an incident like this was big news.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 06/17/09 - 08:30 pm
0
0
Leave him be, he ain't hurtin
Unpublished

Leave him be, he ain't hurtin nobody, if anything he'll go into Wal-Mart and buy in this area, thus contributing to the local economy.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 06/17/09 - 08:43 pm
0
0
heheee. One cool damp

heheee. One cool damp morning in the Smokies, my brothers came screaming out of their pup tent and banging on the camper door, their eyes big as saucers, "Let us in, let us in!" I said, "Not by the hair on your chinnie, chin, chin..." But my dad authoritatively called me by name and told me, "You better let them in NOW!" I was surprised, but I let them in and they excitedly told us how one bear cub had come inside the tent and chased them out! I thought that was funny, but they got mad at me and said what if the mamma had come after them, too! Dad said, "I told you not to bring any food in the tent!" They said, "But we just brought candy!" I slapped my forehead, and said, "No wonder!" Dad notified the ranger for the camp and sure enough they found the baby bear had scampered up a tree and the mama bear was not far below it, so they had to capture and relocate them. The cub was cute, but the mamma was scary like any mamma can be that is protecting her baby. My brothers shrieks had probably scared her as much as the cub scared my brothers.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 06/17/09 - 08:45 pm
0
0
Short version of above:

Short version of above: Don't leave food out overnight in the areas he's been seen. He isn't choosy, he'll look for easy pickin's.

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