Chatsworth bears caught, euthanized by Georgia DNR - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chatsworth bears caught, euthanized by Georgia DNR

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CHATSWORTH, GA (WRCB) -- People in Chatsworth no longer need to be cautious of three bears that were roaming neighborhoods, streets and school yards looking for food.  

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources caught the mother and her two cubs and found this was not the bears' first run in with authorities.  On Tuesday they were euthanized.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Manager Larry Etheridge said, "in this situation they were coming right up to houses, eating bird seed, sitting down and sleeping."

Etheridge says the three bears had lost all fear of humans, he says one month ago these same bears were removed from a neighborhood in Pickens County.

"It's like 96,000 acres where we moved them. Then here they show up doing the same things they were in Pickens County," said Etheridge.

For two weeks officials say the family of bears were in a wooded area, surrounded by housing. Their trails are still easily identifiable. They used them to get to and from easy meals.

Etheridge said, "once a bear has been trapped before it's near impossible to trap them again. They're smart animals. They are very smart."

Etheridge says they tried catching them without tranquilizers and even tried scaring them off with rubber bullets, spray and sirens but they kept returning.

Local Mel Hughes said, "after they tore it up here we went around front, my wife put it all back together and we went out front was talking to the neighbors about it and the bears came back and tore it up again while we were out front."

Hughes would have like to see the bears relocated again, but DNR says that wasn't possible. Tranquilizer takes weeks to leave the bears body and because it's bear season if a hunter killed the bear the meat would be toxic.

On Tuesday they tracked the bears, they tranquilized it, captured it and euthanized it.

A decision Etheridge never wants to make, "but in this situation we had no choice. We took this job because we love outdoors and we love animals. We're not killing machines. We enjoy it our job that's to help wildlife and protect wildlife."

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