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Dead bear helps biologists track population

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HOLLY RIDGE, NC (WWAY) -- A black bear was found dead in the median of US 17 in Holly Ridge this morning.

Highway Patrol say a truck hit the bear around 9 p.m.

The male black bear weighed more than 250 pounds.

District Wildlife Biologist Jonathan Shaw took biological data from one of the bear's teeth to gather information on the current black bear population.

"We try to get a small tooth called a pre-molar tooth directly behind the upper canine tooth that we can send off to the lab where they can slice it and dye it and count rings similar to how you would count rings on a tree and estimate the age of the bear," Shaw said. "And the age of those critters helps us to monitor population and helps us to get population estimates and also to tell whether or not populations are increasing, decreasing or stable."

Shaw says while black bears are not known to attack people randomly, you should be very caution when around a bear and not to mess with them.

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