Forrest County woman looks for help to deal with nuisance bear

Mary Smith of Dewitt Carter Road in South Forrest County says late last summer she started noticing what she thought were bear tracks on her property.

At first she said she wasn't too concerned, but recent events have her fearing for the safety of her family and horses. Earlier this month the bear allegedly got into one of the stalls and injured a horse. Then last week she discovered a tree with a large patch of bark stripped from it just a short distance from where her granddaughter catches the school bus in the morning.

"As you can see the tall marks all around the tree. It was all like real loose and there were good prints all around. It was a bear, said Smith.

Smith says she has contacted the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks to get some help to capture and relocate the bear. In the meantime, the granddaughters school has advised Smith to keep her inside until the bus arrives. She says the recent events have curtailed her granddaughters outdoor activities.

"Before it actually got in the stall with my horse, I had no problem bringing my granddaughter out here. We would ride horses, take them out for a ride. Now I won't take any of the horses in the woods."

Richard Rummel from wildlife and fisheries says there has never been a bear attack on a person in the state and he says bears typically are not active at this time of year. He says if it is a bear, something is attracting it to the property. He said it could be it could be attracted to the horse feed or the garbage.

"Until they come out and show they are trying to capture the bear, I'm not taking my granddaughter out riding. Whether it's a hog, pig, or a bear, it spooks the horses. I shouldn't have to be afraid of that. "

Rummell said he would contact Smith again to try and help alleviate their fears.

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