August 1, 2013

Police chief has run-in with bear; town on alert

Associated Press

NELSON — City officials in the north Georgia town of Nelson are warning residents to “bear-proof” their properties after the police chief had a run-in with a black bear.

Nelson residents should be on guard after recent calls about bears at houses and reports of missing cats and kittens around town, City Manager Brandy Edwards said.

The Marietta Daily Journal reported Wednesday ( that bears are believed to be moving into the town roughly 50 miles north of Atlanta in search of food to fatten up for the winter.

About two weeks ago, Nelson Police Chief Heath Mitchell confronted one bear that made itself at home on a house’s porch and was rummaging through the garbage. Mitchell said he tried to run it off — but the bear turned and growled, walking closer toward him. The bear eventually ran away.

“He was a smart bear,” Mitchell told the newspaper. “When he got to Pickens Street he stopped and looked both ways to make sure nobody was coming.”

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is recommending Nelson residents keep garbage in airtight, clean containers and to clean up after any outdoor cooking, Edwards said.

He added that residents are urged to feed pets outside only during daylight hours, and should remove any uneaten food immediately.


Information from: Marietta Daily Journal,