FORT PAYNEA black bear died in a highway accident at Little River Canyon National Preserve on the night of Dec. 19, 2011.  The accident was reported about 10 p.m. Preliminary information is that the bear was struck by a Ford Mustang on Highway 35 south of the Little River Bridge.

Adamsburg Fire Department was dispatched to the scene. The occupants of the car did not report any injuries.   

The bear was a male weighing approximately 230 lbs.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources staff have taken the bear for studies. They will be studying it to find out more about the animal’s health and age. “It appeared to be a very healthy, fat bear,” said Wildlife Biologist Tracy Nelson. “The bear would probably have already denned up by now if we would have had the normal cold winter weather”. Black bears have occasionally been spotted in and near the park. The park has not had any problems with bear encounters. Bears from the park seem to be quite reclusive and not acculturated to human food or contact, according to Park Ranger Larry Beane.     

For more information call the park office at 256-845-9605.