Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Bear shot, killed at Franklin County hospital

A full-grown black bear was shot and killed after it wandered into Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital on Tuesday night, officials said.

Franklin County Sheriff Quint Overton said the 300-pound male bear was first spotted walking down West Court Street in Rocky Mount. When the bear wandered in front of the hospital nearby on Floyd Avenue about 9:10 p.m., it activated the sensor that opens the hospital's doors. The bear walked through a couple of hallways and into a computer room with glass windows, said Lt. Karl Martin of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Two Rocky Mount police officers were nearby and yanked the door shut behind the bear, he said.

Officers planned to sedate the bear, but because the hospital was nearly full they were worried what could happen if the bear were to get loose. An officer shot the bear twice and its body was removed before 10 p.m., Martin said.

No one was injured, Martin said. The computer room sustained only minor damage, caused by the bear's bodily fluids.

- Shawna Morrison

Weather Journal

News tips, photos and feedback?
Sign up for free daily news by email