A Louisiana black bear was killed Sunday when struck accidentally by an automobile while crossing LA Hwy. 70 near Belle River on the St. Martin-Assumption Parish line.
The bear had been reported in the Oaks at Belle River subdivision around dusk and was struck by a passing motorist after sunset, as it accessed the highway by swimming across Belle River.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) records indicate the bear was previously captured in the Patterson area in the summer of 2008 and subjected to aversive conditioning on site. Nuisance bears are captured, tagged and released using aversive conditioning in an effort to dissuade them from returning to residential areas.
"It's the breeding season for the Louisiana black bear," according to Maria Davidson, LDWF large carnivore program manager. "Male bears are traveling long distances in search of mates and consequently are crossing roadways in the process. This bear was a young adult male weighing approximately 250 pounds."
Homeowners are reminded that bears are naturally shy and usually avoid contact with people. If a person sees a bear in their neighborhood they should retreat to a safe area and call the LDWF 24 hour hotline: 1-800-442-2511.
The St. Martin Parish Sheriff?s Office, Assumption Parish Sheriff?s Office and LDWF Enforcement and Wildlife Division personnel were all part of the weekend response effort.
For more information, contact Maria Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 225-931-3061.