CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Visitors to the State Capitol can still take an up-close gander at a West Virginia black bear.
A bear placed outside the state Attorney General’s office for years was damaged by vandals. However, the West Virginia Bear Hunters Association came to the rescue.
A bear killed last December in Randolph County by hunter Miranda Ware of Upshur County is now on display outside the office. Miranda was 17 years old at the time she killed the bear.
“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.“I enjoy bear hunting, and I like being a girl who hunts bear. Not many girls do that.”
The bear is a female and one of 52 killed on Dec. 14, 2012. Biologists estimate the bear’s age to be 4 years old.
The bear is on loan and will be displayed for the next year outside the Attorney General’s office in Charleston.
“It is wonderful to have another bear representing our office and standing proud in the halls of our beautiful Capitol,” Attorney General Patrick 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.”
Since the vandalism incident, security measures in the hall where the bear is displayed have been increased. The West Virginia Bear Hunters Association arranged the loan and plan to find another bear to display once Miranda’s bear is returned to her next year.