PLYMOUTH, N.C. (WNCN) – A 600-pound bear was killed when it was hit by a car Monday morning near Plymouth.
The Highway Patrol said the collision occurred on Highway 64 between Roper and Creswell just after 5 a.m.
A 55-year-old North Carolina man was behind the wheel when the bear was hit. He wasn’t injured and won’t be charged.
Tom Harrison, the director of the North Carolina Black Bear Festival, said the Albemarle/Pamlico Peninsula in northeastern North Carolina has the highest black bear densities in the world.
He said two bears were killed on North Carolina highways in 1972. That number went up to 272 in 2011.
That section of Highway 64 was opened in 2004 and three black bear overpasses were installed following input from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The overpasses cost $1 million each, Harrison said.
“They (bears) are becoming more active at this time of year, with peak activity coming during breeding season from mid-May to mid-July. But increased bear activity will continue from now through the Fall,” Harrison said.