EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSNew Bear Joins Ranks At WV Attorney General's Office
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Aug. 26, 2013 1:21 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 27, 2013 12:47 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
It remains to be seen whether it will scare vandals away, but a bear vandalized at the West Virginia Capitol less than three weeks ago at least has some company to help it keep watch.
State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Monday that a new bear has joined the ranks of the Attorney General’s Office. The 200-pound sow was killed on Dec. 14, 2012, by then-17-year-old Miranda Ware of Upshur County.
The new bear will join a black bear already on display in front of the attorney general’s reception room. Earlier this month, the older bear was vandalized and part of its paw was removed. Since then, the attorney general’s office has implemented measures to ensure both bears are safe and not mistreated, according to a news release from the office.
Ware, the daughter of Kevin and Mary Ware, and the West Virginia Bear Hunters Association are loaning the new bear to the office for a year. Next year, the association hopes to loan a different bear for display.
Ware’s bear is on display in the east wing rotunda in front of the attorney general’s office.
“It is wonderful to have another bear representing our office and standing proud in the halls of our beautiful Capitol,” Morrisey said. “It is fitting that the state’s animal is a black bear because they are strong, resourceful and noble. And we are honored that Miranda Ware, her family and the West Virginia Bear Hunters Association would be willing to loan this bear to us so that the entire state can marvel in her beauty.”
The sow was one of 52 bears killed by hunters in West Virginia on Dec. 14, 2012, according to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. It is estimated the bear was 4 years old, although its exact age is not known.
Ware said she was honored to have her bear at the Capitol.
“My dad called me while I was at school and asked if I would be interested in loaning it, and I was really excited,” said Ware, who is now 18. “I enjoy bear hunting, and I like being a girl who hunts bear. Not many girls do that.”
Eric Beck, president of the West Virginia Bear Hunters Association, said his group was eager to assist the attorney general’s office in getting a new bear.
“It’s our state animal,” he said. “It’s part of our heritage to bear hunt, and we wanted to show people what a majestic and beautiful creature it is.”
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