Neighbors upset at plan to trap mother bear, cubs in Georgia community

PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. — A plan involving a mother bear and her three cubs has some Pickens County residents furious.

The Georgia DNR has moved some traps into the Big Canoe community after a black bear walked into the crowded pool area and swiped someone’s lunch.

"People are feeding them to show their grandkids that it's cute. Look at the cubs. Well, look at the cubs in the cage that are dead now,” resident Wende Hadzimihalis said.

"When I got the news that we had to call DNR, I sat in the kitchen and cried because all I could think about was that mom and her three bears,” community General Manager Jill Philmon said.

DNR said the bears have likely been fed by some of the residents and are now used to getting handouts.

Homeowners said the same thing happened here a few years back with tragic results.

"When the mother entered the trap, the babies followed. One followed a little too late and the trap came down and killed it,” resident Richard Rambo said.


A state wildlife biologist said if these bears are caught, they will be euthanized.

"Everybody can't wait for them to come out of hibernation. It's anticipation. Who gets the first bear sighting. But now we're gonna be down four. That's what will happen if these bears are caught inside there. They're gone,” Wende Hadzimihalis said.

DNR told Channel 2 Action News that relocating a bear that would walk into a crowded pool area to take food will do no good.

Officials said a bear and her cubs will find another neighborhood and try to do the same thing. Residents are being told to prepare for an unhappy ending.