A dead bear in a tree is no honeymoon for residents of Helen, a Bavarian-themed village tucked away in the Georgia mountains.
Local librarian Deborah Kelley said Monday that the bear, and its accompanying “powerful” stench, has attracted “bunches of people over there right now trying to figure out how to get him down.”
Kelley, who is not trained to identify large omnivores, said it looked to be about a 350-pound black bear caught high up in an oak tree near the library.
She took pictures but said “he was so high up I couldn’t zoom in far enough.”
The dead bear has been in the tree, on public property near Unicoi State Park, since last Monday, said Kelley.
City Clerk Kim Smith said the city manager and public works director were thinking of ways to remove the animal corpse from the city-owned tree.
The state Department of Natural resources has been of little help, said Smith.
“When wild animals die in the wild you just let them be,” said Smith.
But that won’t work for Helen, a mountain town known by beer fans for hosting “The World’s Longest Octoberfest.” (It begins next Thurday, BTW.)
Fortunately for those with noses, the state Department of Agriculture dropped by and helped devise a plan to rid the town of its smelly bear problem.
According to Smith, a city worker will dig a large hole under the tree with a backhoe. Then, a city worker will ascend 40 or so feet in a bucket truck to cut the limb holding the beast, dropping the bear into its grave.
‘Thiry Helens Agree‘ bears are nothing new in the downtown area.
“We’re surrounded by a state and national forest,” said Smith. “The acorns are gone and Dumpster pickings in Helen are good.”
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: The bear is down! He’s resting in his new final resting place, an impromptu grave beneath the tree, says City Clerk Kim Smith. The tree is OK, just missing a couple of limbs, and the bear was covered with lime, to assist in decomposition, and plenty of dirt, she said.