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Dead bear may have come from Smokies
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Forsyth County News
Shane Mullins and his brother Mark were driving along Canton Highway just before 11 a.m. Friday when they noticed something unusual lying in the middle of the road -- a female black bear.
They said they saw someone in a white pickup truck parked behind the bear.
"We went to the bottom of the hill and turned around," Shane Mullins said. "By the time we got back up here [the truck] was gone."
Later, the brothers helped a Forsyth County Sheriff's deputy move the dead bear to the side of the westbound lane.
It appears the bear was hit while crossing Canton Highway.
The brothers waited there, along with the deputy and a Cumming police officer, for state wildlife resources personnel to arrive.
Mark Hunter, a state wildlife technician dispatched to collect the bear, said a tag on it ear showed it was from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
"That's not uncommon," he said. "We have bears we tag that wind up in the Smokies. And their bears end up down here."
The bear also had a radio collar on its neck. Hunter said the collar's batteries were probably dead. But he would notify park officials and provide them with the tag numbers.
"If they trapped that bear and put a collar on it, they'll have the age and everything," he said.
Depending on how much data was recorded from the collar's transmissions, officials could also be able to determine where the bear had been and its social patterns.
In December a black bear was found dead under the Highway 20 overpass along Ga. 400 in Forsyth County. Officials thought it had also been hit by a passing vehicle.