Famous ‘Falling Bear’ Killed in Colorado

Famous ‘Falling Bear’ Killed in Colorado

By: 
ICTMN Staff
5/4/12

The bear that got its 15 minutes of fame last week when a photo by University of Colorado (CU) student Andy Duann, of the CU Independent, went viral has been struck and killed by a car.

On April 26, the 280-pound black bear managed to climb up a tree on the CU campus. Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department officials were able to tranquilize the animal and safely relocate it to a wilderness area about 50 miles west of Boulder, according to MercuryNews.com. (Watch the dramatic video of the bear falling out of a tree and onto a mattress below.)

But early this morning the bear was struck and killed on U.S. 36 by two cars, according to Mercury News. One of the drivers reported minor injuries and the other reported that his car had been totaled.

“It’s a bummer. It’s so hard to go through this and not be able to give these bears a good place to live,” Jennifer Churchill, spokeswoman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, told MercuryNews.com. “The community sees relocating bears as a kind of perfect solution, and unfortunately it’s a really difficult proposition.”

She said officials identified the bear by an ear tag that had been placed on him after the incident at CU. She also said that Colorado lacks wilderness to relocate animals to, and bears that are relocated see the area it was captured in as its home territory, and often try to return.

“A couple years ago, there was a bear we moved ... from Table Mesa all the way to the Wyoming border, and he came back within a month,” she told MercuryNews.com.

She advises Boulder residents to keep their yards and neighborhoods clear of trash and other items that attract bears.

“(With) Boulder in particular, once (a bear) hits town and they start getting to food sources in town, they become a town bear,” she told MercuryNews.com. “We need everybody to clean up every attractant they can, especially trash and bird feeders and any other food sources outside their homes.”

“I think it’s a shame that we can’t all live peacefully with nature, I mean we encroached on their territory,” Lauren Cross, a sophomore at CU, told the CU Independent on April 26.

Even though he no longer lives, the “Falling Bear” has been forever immortalized with its own facebook page and Twitter account. The CU Independent, reported that the bear was between 1 and 3 years old.

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