Bear sighting reported in Good Hope

Not actual bear reportedly seen in Good Hope – Photo by Bruce Warrington on Unsplash

SOCIAL CIRCE, GA – The Georgia Department of Natural Resources confirmed that they had a report of a bear sighting in Walton County on Sept. 18. Melissa Cummings, spokesperson for the Georgia DNR said that Kaitlin Goode, program manager of the Urban Wildlife Program with GA DNR Wildlife Resources Division, said there was a report of a bear in Walton County, but the Georgia DNR did not have visual confirmation of the bear sighting.

A post on Good Hope Happenings Facebook page shared surveillance footage reportedly from a friend of the person who said the bear was captured on surveillance at a location on Peters Cemetery Road. However, at this time officials with the Georgia DNR have not spoken directly to the person who reportedly had the surveillance footage taken on their property.

“If there are actual sightings, residents can call them in to the office at 1-800-366-2661” Cummings said.

“If there is a bear in Walton County, my guess is that it’s going to be moving through, not sticking around. For bears that are moving through we typically don’t like to interfere, but we do keep track of the calls so that we can continue to watch the movement pattern,” Goode said.

“If there are actual sightings, residents can call them in to the office (1.800.366.2661),” Cummings said.

“If there is a bear in Walton County, my guess is that it’s going to be moving through, not sticking around. For bears that are moving through we typically don’t like to interfere, but we do keep track of the calls so that we can continue to watch the movement pattern,” Goode said.

“According to another biologist, we have had bear sightings in that general vicinity of Walton County over the years. It may be a commonly used travel corridor. However, as previously mentioned, the best thing we (DNR OR citizens) can do is to continue to allow the animals to move along, with little to no interference,” Cummings said, adding that the best thing people can do is make sure that there is no food or other attractants (outdoor pet food, easily accessible trash, bird feeders) that would keep a bear from continuing to move.

More tips can be found by visiting the website www.bearwise.org.

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