On Monday, around 9 PM, a vehicle traveling east on U.S. Hwy. 80 between Newton and Hickory in Newton County, hit and killed a black bear. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Conservation Officer Sgt. Tyler Norman responded to the scene of the accident and found the 168 pound male bear dead on the shoulder of the highway.
The driver of the vehicle, who was uninjured, reported that the bear ran out of the woods and into the highway just after the vehicle had crossed Turkey Creek.
Local residents are advised that while black bears are not common in east central Mississippi, there are a few bears in this area of the state.
In the lower two-thirds of Mississippi the black bear is listed as a Federally Threatened Species and it is classified as Endangered throughout the state under Mississippi statute.
As such, it is illegal to intentionally kill or harass a black bear.
Motorists driving at night or early morning in areas inhabited by bears should exercise caution.
The bear killed Monday night was taken to MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science to be used for research and education.