It’s been a month of bear sightings in Mississippi. First we had the largest Louisiana black bear on record killed in the southwestern part of the state. And now, an adolescent bear has been spotted in a Mississippi town.
Sunday afternoon near Myrtle Avenue in Natchez, Ole Miss student Ann Ward was riding inside her friend’s car when she and the driver first spotted the bear. Ward said she was startled, but quickly grabbed her phone and started shooting video of the encounter.
“She was dropping me off at my car and she was showing me something on her phone, and all of a sudden, she looked up and saw the bear. We then started screaming,” said Ward.
Video courtesy of Ann Ward
The bear is considered to be a juvenile that the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks has been keeping an eye on, studying the bear’s movements.
According to the MDWFP bears are more active this time of year as they come out of a dormancy period called “carnivore lethargy.”
The second major bear sighting in the month of April was when a record-sized black bear was killed after being hit by a car in Wilkinson County. On the night of April 5th a full grown male bear was struck by a sports utility vehicle on U.S. 61.
The bear weighed in at 468 pounds, much larger than a 432 pound black bear that the MDWFP previously captured in the South Delta. Black bears can reach in excess of 800 pounds in some parts of North America.
The bear that was hit by an SUV is expected to be stuffed and used for educational purposes.