As cars whiz by on U.S. 29 behind him, Mike Hooker shoves clinking glass vials of anesthetic into his pockets and loads a syringe. Hooker, a wiry, slightly grizzled University of Georgia graduate student, fires pink-tipped darts into a target.
He is ready to sneak up on someone. Or rather, something: A mother bear with her cubs.
Hooker and other researchers are conducting a 3-year study of the Middle Georgia black bear population and its movements. It will help the state determine whether the bears can handle the pressures of road widening and bear hunting. But first, researchers need to know more about how many cubs are born each year and how many survive.
That’s the story the dens can tell.
S. Heather Duncan reports for The Telegraph of Macon, read more of this story here.