Natchez officials: Record-sized black bear killed in vehicle crash

PHOTO: A bear opening a dumpster, Photo Date: December 2008 - Cropped Photo: Flickr / anoldent / CC BY 2.0

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - Authorities in Natchez, Mississippi say a record-size Louisiana black bear was killed in a collision with a vehicle in Wilkinson County.

The Natchez Democrat reports a woman fatally struck a full-grown male bear April 5 on U.S. 61. No other serious injuries were reported. Officials say the bear weighted 468, making it the largest ever recorded in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Black Bear Program leader Richard Rummel says the bear's body is currently being stored in a freezer at the Mississippi Museum of Natural History in Jackson.

Rummel says the department is currently evaluating the preservation of the bear, but it will eventually be used for education purposes.

Officials say the bear was in excellent condition when it died, so a full-mount of the bear might be possible.