The biggest black bear ever documented in Mississippi was captured last week in Issaquena County by state wildlife officials.
Ten years ago when the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks started its bear conservation program, working with Mississippi State University, there were only about 25 black bears estimated to be in Mississippi. It's now up to an estimated 140. The pictures were taken by Ollie Sumrall, a photographer in Vicksburg. Brad Young is the black bear program leader in Mississippi.
"At the time we captured him last week, he weighed 432 pounds, which is kind of a state record here in Mississippi. We have captured a couple that are above 400, but he is by far and away the largest one," said Young.
Young says these bears are not vicious or dangerous.
"You know we have never had a documented case of a person or livestock being harmed by bear here in Mississippi."
Once Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks officials changed the batteries in the GPS collar on the bear, they just left him there, so he could wake up and go about his business.
"The collar that we put on this particular bear is unique in that it has a global positioning system. We have been using GPS technology to follow the bears in Mississippi for several years. What is more interesting about this one is we can actually monitor him on a daily basis, with it telling us where ever this bear is," said Young.
The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks estimates there are between 120 and 140 black bears in Mississippi. That compares with 3,000 in Louisiana and seven to thousand in Arkansas.
Largest bear ever documented in MS The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks recently captured a bear it says is the largest ever documented in Mississippi. The 10-year-old, 432-poundMore>>
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