Bear spotted in Effingham, comes with excitement and warnings - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bear spotted in Effingham, comes with excitement and warnings

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

A black bear has been spotted in Northern Effingham County and people are excited, but at the same time, a little concerned.

To see a black bear in this part of the state is very rare.

"For a long time bears have not been in this county. Traditionally, they were, but because of the over hunting in the 1800's they were pushed out of this area," said Ranger Jordan Crawford, with the Georgia DNR. "It is just a black bear, I know when people hear bear they think grizzly or something like that."

Black bears are mostly herbivores, so there is no real need to worry. Hunting and killing the bear is also illegal and you can face harsh penalties.

"There is a statewide bear hunting season but in Effingham it is closed because of the numbers,"
said Crawford.
 
The exact location of the bear is not being released for the safety of the bear.

"We do not want anyone trying to hunt the bear," said Crawford. “He is in a very isolated area where a lot of people do not live. He is in a wooded area."
 
If anyone happens to come into contact with the bear, DNR says to just keep a safe distance.

"As long as DNR has been keeping records we have never had a fatality in Georgia when it comes to black bears and humans," said Crawford.

The Department of Natural Resources estimates about 5,000 black bears are in the state of Georgia and they hope this is a sign of good things to come.

Just enjoy the bear from a far.

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