One of South Carolina's rarely seen coastal bears killed on highway near Charleston

Although bears are not common in Charleston, South Carolina, evidence of their presence was discovered over the weekend by a dead bear found in Awendaw.Officials said that the carcass was found along Highway 17 at 2 p.m. on Sunday. It was not far from the town's post office. This town, home to approximately 1,300 people, is located 30 miles northeast from Charleston.According to the statement of the Awendaw McClellanville Consolidated Fuel District, it was found by a passerby and was soon joined by a state wildlife official.According to the department, the black bear was a male and could have been between 3-4 years old. This beautiful animal was rarely seen in the region.Officials said that South Carolina has approximately 1,000 black bears. Most of them are located in the west side of the state near the Appalachian Mountains.According to the fire department, the rest are in the low-country, as far as Beaufort.Investigators believe that the bear was struck by a vehicle on Saturday night or Sunday morning. However, the bear was large enough to cause serious damage.The average black bear in South Carolina is 350 pounds. However, males up to 600 pounds have been reported by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. The average lifespan of black bears in the wild is 18 years.The bear population in North Carolina is much larger than that found elsewhere, with over 11,000 bears recorded as of the late 2000s, according to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.The news of the bear carcass is coming at a time when aggressive bear encounters in neighboring North Carolina are on the rise.McClatchy News reported that a 16-year-old girl, who was sleeping, was attacked by a bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Due to aggressive bears, multiple camp grounds were closed in N.C. and Tennessee. The Blue Ridge Parkway temporarily prohibited tents and soft-sided campers from certain areas.Experts believe that bears are hungry and looking for food. They may associate camp smells with potential meals.