One of the biggest bears ever seen in Mississippi is hit by a car.
Mississippi generally isn't the first place one thinks of when it comes to big black bears. That may change with the news of a 468-pound bruin being killed in a collision with a vehicle on April 5. Officials are saying it's the largest black bear ever recorded in the Magnolia State.
The Clarion-Ledger reports the accident happened in Wilkinson County on U.S. 61. The big bear was T-boned by a motorist just before midnight. Wildlife officials immediately realized the significance of the jet-black colored bear due to its size.
"That's pretty big for Mississippi," Richard Rummel, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife's black bear program leader told reporters. "I'm not saying there's not another one out there that's bigger, but I'd be surprised."
The bear, which Rummel said was also old, is being held in a storage freezer while the Department of Wildlife evaluates and preps it for a full body mount. The eventual plan is to display it. Not wasting any parts, they will also use the bear's skull and bones in educational programs.
While Rummel has seen some large bruins in the course of his work, this one tops anything they've seen in the past.
"We captured one in the South Delta and at the initial capture he was 432 (pounds)," Rummel said. "At the last capture he was 439. We caught another one that weighed 411. So, this was by far the biggest one we've ever had our hands on."
It appears there are no pictures of the big bruin as of yet. We'll have to wait and see what kind of display the Mississippi Department of Wildlife comes up with it seems.