Georgia Cops Shoot Bear, Call In Taxidermist And Meat Processor To Take Care Of Body

(Photo credit Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images)

Kate Hirzel Contributor
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A bear was killed June 23 by Georgia law enforcement officials after it was deemed a potential threat to public safety.

Elberton Police Department (EPD) received multiple reports of a bear sighting in the backyard of a residence at approximately 9 p.m., reported WBSTV. Responding officers discovered a hefty 250-pound bear occupying the property’s backyard.

“This is the first time in the 23 years that I have been policing in Elberton that I can recall encountering a bear,” Scott Marunich, EPD Chief, told WBSTV. (RELATED: Austrian Officials Find Snakes, Scorpions, And Over 80 Other Reptiles In Man’s Luggage)

Concerns regarding the nearby busy highway and pedestrian activity prompted officers to make the decision to kill the bear. The authorities determined the bear posed too much of a risk to public safety. “They trust the officers made the right decision since the officer believed there was a public safety issue,” Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR) told WBSTV.

Following the death of the bear, law enforcement contacted a local taxidermist and meat processor to handle the disposal of its remains, reported the local outlet. Police have not disclosed any injuries sustained by residents or officers during the incident.

“We have never needed nor has GA DNR come and taught any classes to our local law enforcement,” Marunich told WBSTV. “Although I stand behind the decision the officers made, going forward, GA DNR will come and give instructions on incidents of this type, and a policy is being developed to assist officers in the future.”

“If you see a bear before it notices you, don’t approach. Stand still, enjoy, then quietly move away. If a bear sees you, back away slowly. Never run; running may trigger a chase response. If a bear approaches, hold your ground, wave your arms and yell ‘Hey Bear’ until it leaves. Stay with your group. If it keeps approaching, use bear spray. If a black bear makes contact with you, do NOT play dead; fight back aggressively,” GDNR wrote in a press release giving tips about bear safety.