CHARLESTON - A 200-pound bear killed last year by an Upshur County hunter will be on display at the Capitol office of the West Virginia attorney general.
The female bear was killed on Dec. 14 by then-17-year-old Miranda Ware, the daughter of Kevin and Mary Ware. The West Virginia Bear Hunters Association and her parents are loaning the bear to the office for a year.
Next year, the association hopes to loan a different bear for display, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Miranda Ware of Upshur County stand near a bear Ware harvested in Randolph County on Dec. 14. (Photo Provided)
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 harvested in West Virginia on Dec. 14, according to the Division of Natural Resources. It is estimated the bear was 4 years old.
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."
The Ware 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, measures were talken to ensure both bears are not vandalized.
Eric Beck, president of the West Virginia Bear Hunters Association, said his group was eager to assist the 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."