CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After becoming nearly extinct earlier this year, the black bear population in the West Virginia Capitol is slowly rebounding.
The West Virginia Bear Hunters Association on Friday delivered a 200-pound stuffed black bear to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's Office.
The animal now sits where former Attorney General Darrell McGraw kept his own taxidermied black bear collection, in an alcove near the Capitol's east wing.
Mounted by Warner's Taxidermy in Buckhannon, the female bear stands on a three-foot-tall barn wood pedestal, covered with moss, leaves, roots and greenery. The four-year-old sow stands semi-upright, with her front paws leaning on a rock.
She's a friendly-looking bear, with a slight smirk and playful posture. Her coat is solid black, except for a buff-colored muzzle.
"It's a really good, pretty mount. It's a nice addition to that section of our office and that section of the Capitol," Attorney General spokeswoman Beth Ryan said.
Miranda Ware, 18, of Upshur County, killed the bear on Dec. 14, 2012. Her family had it mounted, and then loaned it to the Attorney General's Office through the West Virginia Bear Hunter's Association.
Ware accompanied the bear to its temporary home last week, even posing for a few pictures with Morrisey.
The animal will remain at the Capitol for a year, after which the Bear Hunter's Association will replace it with another stuffed bear.
"The goal is, they want to have a new bear put on display each year," Ryan said.