http://www.11alive.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=80862 85lbs bear Bear of a Scare at Gwinnett Mall Print E-mail This E-mail Make Us Home Reported By: Valerie Hoff Last Modified: 6/13/2006 4:34:35 PM A Gwinnett County Sheriff's deputy who responded to reports of a bear near Gwinnett Place Mall ended up shooting and wounding the animal Sunday night. The young male bear weighing just 85 pounds was spotted by a passerby about 10:45 p.m. Sunday near a dumpster between the JC Penney’s store and Parisian. A deputy said the bear charged at him, so he shot the animal. The bear received only superficial wounds which were treated by Gwinnett County Animal Control officers. The bear was then tranquilized and monitored until Georgia Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) personnel arrived about midnight. The bear was held overnight by the WRD and released Monday morning in Habersham County. Experts said it’s likely that more bears will appear around the Metro Atlanta area. Their population is increasing in the North Georgia mountains, so young males are getting pushed out by bigger relatives. “Bears in the metro area are more common than they used to be," said Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Chuck Hans. “It’s just a natural dispersion of the wild animal population.” DNR officials said that most of the time they will not bother or attempt to capture a bear unless it’s in an unusual place like the mall. They say if you see one, don't approach it, and whatever you do, don’t feed it. “If a bear has gotten food or a meal he's going to go back so we recommend not feeding bears, said Hans. Several other bears have been spotted in Gwinnett County this spring. Officials in Cherokee County have also reported bear sightings and about four are wandering throug Cobb County at this time.