WALHALLA, S.C. (AP) - Three black bears found in a box in Oconee County earlier this year have been returned to the wild.
WSPA-TV reported that the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said the bears were released last week in the South Carolina mountains.
The animals spent eight months at Appalachian Bear Rescue, a private nonprofit organization in Townsend, Tenn.
The two males and a female grew from less than three pounds to about 100 pounds each.
Richard Morton with the Natural Resources Department says the best outcome for the animals would be that they are never heard about again.
The bears were found March 1 in a cardboard box off U.S. 76 by Long Creek volunteer firefighter Brandon Poole.
Poole said he thought they were puppies when he first heard them.
Information from: WSPA-TV, http://www.wspa.comCopyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.