December 7, 2021

Hoochie Bear spotted in Franklin

(Franklin, GA) — A local convenience store captured footage early Saturday morning of a presumed black bear near the Chattahoochee River in Franklin.

The assistant manager at the Flash Foods (located just south of the river in the heart of downtown) confirmed that a third shift employee saw the bear as well.

Director of Heard County animal control, Brad Ogle, says although rare, bears do pass through the area from time to time especially in the spring.

Ogle advises that in the rare instance a person comes in contact with a bear they should use common sense.

“My best advice if you come into contact with a bear is use extreme caution, keep your distance, and don’t approach the bear,” says Ogle.

“They are wild, powerful animals and you should NOT attempt to take selfies with them. While sightings are occurring it is a good idea to keep small pets inside, don’t leave any type of food outside including pet food, and remember that bears to travel both day and night.”

“Unless there is evidence of aggressive behavior or habituation to people, there is no cause for alarm,” says Adam Hammond, state bear biologist with the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division.

This bear was spotted on store surveillance footage early Saturday morning in Franklin (Photo courtesy of Flash Foods/Circle K)

While there is no way to prevent a bear from wandering into a neighborhood, there are ways to discourage it from staying according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. offers some tips:

  • Never feed a bear. Keep items such as grills, pet food and bird feeders off-limits to bears. Clean and store grills when not in use.

  • Use “bear-proof” garbage containers, or store garbage in the garage or other enclosed area until the morning of pick-up day.

Properly securing food and garbage prevents bears from accessing these non-natural, human-provided food sources, and helps avoid the unhealthy process of habituation that occurs when bears obtain food from people and begin associating humans with food.

If a bear is sighted in your neighborhood, here are some tips on how to respond:

  • Leave all bears alone. Usually they are only passing through an area.

  • Stay a safe distance away.  Do not try to approach a bear.

  • Never, under any circumstances, intentionally feed a bear.

  • Never attempt to ‘tree’ or corner a bear as it compromises the safety and welfare of both the public and the bear.


  1. Holly Stubbs says

    My son saw it at the top of our driveway one night when he was coming iin from work..around midnight…it kinda freaked him out a lil..he was like.

    Mom..It looked like a bear…lol..guess I owe him an apology for calling him crazy lol

  2. Wanda Whitmire says

    I told Donnie Nelms I saw a bear running down the dirt rode. And he laughed and told me bears didn’t live around there. Wish he was here I’d like to laugh with him again. Miss you Donnie.

  3. Pattiology says

    Is there something wrong with the bear’s right front leg?

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