Jun 05, 2012 5:47 PM EDT
By Aaron Barker – email
The bear scaled a thick evergreen tree in front of Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op on West Main Street.
Jacob Kelley, who works at the utility provider, said he noticed the bear trotting across the street before it disappeared into the tree.
“I was kind of shocked,” Kelley said. “I didn’t really know what to think. You don’t normally see a bear around in Pickens on Main Street.”
It didn’t take long for a crowd of curious onlookers to form outside the office building.
SLIDESHOW: Bear caught napping in downtown Pickens tree
“I came and was going to pay my light bill, and they said they saw a bear up that tree,” said Roy Pratt, one of the bystanders. “So, I went and looked, and I saw it pretty close up.”
Carol Baker said she had also arrived to pay her bill, but stopped to look at the fuzzy spectacle since she had never seen a bear in the wild before. When asked if she thought the animal would scale down the tree on its own:
“I don’t think so,” Baker said as she laughed. “I’ve talked to him and begged him, and he pays no attention to me.”
A spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources said the nearly 2-year-old bear was likely kicked out of its den by its mother, which is typical for this time of year.
The spokesman said the nearly 100-pound bear was tranquilized and will be relocated to its natural habitat in the mountains of Pickens County.