A black bear that has been frequenting a street in Jasper is beginning to cause concern with residents who live there.
As a result, Jasper Animal Control Officer Lonnie Waters says the Department of Natural Resources has set a trap on Summit Street, which runs behind Pueblo Grill off W. Church Street.
According to Waters, the bear has been aggravating residents for weeks by digging through garbage and entering patios and porches. While no aggressive behavior has been reported, Waters said residents want the animal removed.
A bear trap that has been set by the DNR off of Summit Street in Jasper.
Waters said the DNR does not typically trap bears, “but when a bear becomes socialized and comes to close they will. It has not attacked anyone. It’s not been aggressive, but it’s getting to close to people and it’s making people uncomfortable.”
Interestingly, a recent bear trapping in Big Canoe created a whirlwind of controversy after a cub was decapitated when he followed his mother into the same style of trapping device. As the mother bear entered the trap, she triggered the door mechanism and the door closed on one of two of her cubs, Waters said.
While Waters said the DNR trap being used on Summit Street is the same style, he said there is absolutely no chance a single animal will be harmed in the trap, and went on to note that the decapitation was extremely unusual.
“As long as there is just one, there is no way they can be hurt,” Waters said. “This is just an individual bear [on Summit Street], and the DNR is trying to come up with a different trap but until they do this is all we have to use. “
Waters said when the animal is trapped it will be relocated to the Cohutta Wildlife Management Area.