Bear struck, killed on Interstate 75 in Catoosa County Monday

Photo by viewer Nate Martin.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (Ga. DNR) says a pickup truck driver struck and killed a 200-pound bear on Interstate 75 in Catoosa County, near the Tennessee state line Monday morning.

The bear did not survive the collision. The driver wasn't hurt, but did have damage to his pickup truck.

The Ga. DNR says the bear did not have any tags or a radio collar.

Despite some reports on social media that the bear "had been shot," the Ga. DNR says the bear died shortly after it was hit.

The Ga. DNR says the bear's body will be donated to a private school in Atlanta.

As we have been reporting all season, bear sightings are becoming more common in East Tennessee and western North Carolina. But wildlife experts say bear sightings in northwest Georgia are known to happen, too.

Earlier this week, viewer Carl Ray shared his security surveillance video of a bear checking out his back yard in Cherokee County, North Carolina.

According to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Black Bear Coordinator Dan Gibbs, many reports of bear sightings are circulating around East Tennessee. He said increased activity should be expected this time of year, as it is the season when they’ve emerged from their winter dens and are in search of food to replenish their energy and fatten back up.

Gibbs says in most cases bears are attracted to homes by food.... either garbage cans, dog food left outdoors or even bird feeders. Gibbs said simple things such as removing bird feeders, outdoor pet foods or keeping trash secured in a bear resistant container will keep the bear moving.

Read more: Bears in your backyard

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