A black bear has been spotted in North Bryan near I-16 and the Bulloch County line, according to Pembroke Police Chief Mark Crowe.
The black bear, which Crowe estimated to be between 200 and 300 pounds, was recently photographed by game cameras. One image shows the bear drinking out of a pond, another shows it near the Seed Tick Road area in Bulloch County.
“I think with the fires in the Okefenokee Swamp and the drought, he may have come up in this area,” Crowe said, adding black bears are not typically found in Bryan County.
Saturday is the opening day of rifle season for deer hunting, and Crowe offered a warning to hunters to be on the lookout for the bear and advised against shooting the animal for sport.
In the southern hunting zone of the state, bears season ended Oct. 15, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division website.
Anyone who shoots and kills a black bear for sport, Crowe said, would likely receive a ticket and a fine or may even go to jail.
He noted black bears are generally not aggressive but could be if cornered or wounded.
“There are no reported or documented cases in Georgia of a black bear attacking a person according to the Department of Natural Resources,” Crowe said.