Driver hits bear on Twiggs County highway

The Twiggs County Sheriff's Office is investigating an accident with a bear on Ga. 96 shortly before 7 a.m.

The driver of a Chevrolet truck told investigators he hit a large bear a couple of miles east of the Ocmulgee River near the Houston-Twiggs line. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources sent investigators to the scene of the accident, but they could not locate the bear.

"It was definitely a bear. They found hair in the grill," said Bobby Bond, a DNR wildlife biologist.

DNR wildlife technician Ronnie Beard said he looked up and down the road for signs of the bear.

"Looking at the front of the truck, I don't think there was enough of an impact to kill the bear," Beard said. "It takes a lot to kill a bear."

When a bear is killed, DNR collects a tooth and hair samples to help pinpoint the age of the bear and keeps a DNA sample on file, Beard said.

The DNR warned that this is a season of elevated bear migration. Between 2003 and 2007, there were 28 reported bear kills on midstate roads. Twenty-six of them happened between May and October. Bear movement peaks during the months of June, July and August, Bond said.