A driver struck a black bear on Ga. 400 north on Sunday night, and its carcass remained on the shoulder near Pilgrim Mill Road until another person claimed it.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office received a report of the incident from a passer-by late Sunday night.
Sgt. Lee Brown with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said a man filed paperwork at the Gainesville office Monday to take possession of the bear.
Anyone can claim a bear hit by a vehicle, Brown said, but the documents are required for DNR record-keeping purposes.
“Deer or anything else, there’s no paperwork involved, but on a bear … I have to get paperwork from DNR saying that I have possession of this bear, basically that I didn’t hunt it,” he said. “Because there’s a black market on bears and their parts, so we have to keep a record of bears, and who has them.”
Brown did not know why the man wanted to take the animal.
The female black bear weighed about 300 pounds and didn’t have any cubs, he said.
The age of the bear is not known, since the only true measure is to send one of its teeth to a laboratory for testing, he said.
“They cut it and count the rings in it, just like you count the rings in a tree to tell how old it is,” Brown said. “You can’t just look at a bear and tell how old it is.”
It’s not uncommon for black bears to be hit by vehicles, he said, adding that he’s has picked up several that have been struck, and seen the damage they’ve done to the cars too.
Several bears have been spotted this season in the area, which Brown said is likely due to fewer acorns in the mountains.
“They’re kind of branching out, finding food,” he said. “People will have bird feeders out, their garbage out. Bears also love dog food.”
Black bears will usually leave if they see a person or hear loud noises, he added.