Marietta police, DNR capture black bear spotted near city park

MARIETTA, Ga. — UPDATE: Marietta police say the bear has been tranquilized and is being relocated to safe place to be released back into the wild.

Original story:

If you find yourself heading towards Laurel Park in Marietta Wednesday, you may want to be on the lookout for a black bear.

Marietta police sent out a warning to people heading to the park and surrounding neighborhoods this morning that said, “If you are travelling in the area this morning, please exercise caution and and remain in your vehicle.”

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The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has been called in to help assist Marietta police in their search for the bear. They believe it may be heading west towards Kennesaw Mountain National Park.

Channel 2′s Chris Jose was in Cobb County during the search and spoke with neighbors who first spotted it.

“Caught me off guard, crossing the road. It didn’t look both ways. It just went. It didn’t have on a mask,” Nancy Jeffares said. “Then I told a few people walking the dog, they might want to go in.”

Jeffares spotted the bear on Wood Valley Drive in the Whitlock Heights neighborhood. Fellow resident Sherry Coleman nicknamed it the “Whitlock Bear.”

“I’ve traveled to Yellowstone. That’s the closest I’ve ever been to a bear. So to see one in the neighborhood was exciting but also a little bit scary because I have a young child and a dog,” Coleman said.

Kaitlyn Goode with the Georgia DNR wildlife division told Jose there are bears that live in Cobb County full time. She said bears usually stay away from neighborhoods near the national park.

“We actually encourage people to scare the bear. So if you’re in a safe location like on your back deck or back door, to yell, bang pots and pans, and scare them out of your backyard to keep that natural fear of people intact.”

It’s a beautiful afternoon near Cheatham Hill at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park! Has anyone seen the bear roaming around today in Marietta? 🐻

Posted by Chris Jose on Wednesday, July 22, 2020