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CU’s celebrity, the ‘falling bear,’ was killed Thursday after being struck by a car on U.S. 36.
The bear was struck and killed by a car on the southbound lane of U.S. 36 at 5:40 a.m. Thursday about a half mile south of Cherryvale Road.
After being tranquilized on April 26 by wildlife officials in a tree near Williams Village on the CU campus, the bear was relocated to the Continental Divide region, west of the City of Boulder. Jennifer Churchill, spokesperson for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said that the bear had traveled a distance about 50 miles by road back into town since its relocation.
“Bears become habituated to town once they find attractants and they consider town their home range once they start getting food in town,” Churchill said. “I’m pretty sure the bear was headed towards its habitat.”
As to what will be done with the bear’s body, Churchill said that depending on the condition, deceased animals may sometimes be preserved and used for wildlife education. She said that the bear’s death in particular should move the community to properly manage waste so that wild animals will not be tempted to come into town.
“I don’t think it’s up to us,” Churchill said. “I think it’s up to the citizens to clean up their attractants so that we don’t have bears coming into town. We can only manage for public safety and move bears. It’s really a community issue we can only manage bears once they get into town because managing wildlife involves letting them be wild.”
Contact CU Independent Budget News Editor Nora Keating at Nora.firstname.lastname@example.org.