University of Colorado black bear dies after being hit by cars - The bear became an internet hit when it was captured falling from a tree after been tranquilizedThis Thursday, April 26, 2012 photo provided by the CU Independent shows a bear that wandered into the University of Colorado Boulder, Colo., dorm complex Williams Village falling from a tree after being tranquilized by Colorado wildlife officials.
This story has a bear-y sad ending.
The black bear who was famously snapped falling out of a tree on a college campus last week has died.
The bear was caught by a student photographer at the University of Colorado in mid-fall from a tree after being tranquilized by authorities.
Officials said that they had transported the bear to a wilderness area far away from the campus where it would be safe and away from large human populations, the Daily Camera reported.
They apparently didn’t bring it far enough.
The bear was hit by two cars early Thursday while walking on a highway, the newspaper reported.
“It’s a bummer,” Jennifer Churchill, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department, told the newspaper. “The community sees relocating bears as a kind of perfect solution, and unfortunately it’s a really difficult proposition.”
Churchill told the newspaper it wasn’t uncommon for bears that they relocated to wander back to cities.
Officials estimated that the bear weighed between 150 and 200 pounds and was between one and three years old.
Students at CU Boulder expressed sympathy for the lost animal last month when the bear came to check out the campus.
“I think it’s a shame that we can’t all live peacefully with nature; I mean, we encroached on their territory,” sophomore Lauren Cross told the CU Independent. “That bear had to fall a long ways from that tree.”
As the bear’s fame grew, thanks in large part to the quick-to-go-viral photograph, fans opened the “Falling Bear” Twitter and Facebook accounts.
“I took my last fall early this morning :-( But I’m in a better place now,” the Falling Bear Boulder’s Facebook page read Friday morning. “It wasn’t easy being a living internet meme!”
While the bear’s fame was slightly giggle-worthy, his sad demise revived officials’ warnings to not feed bears and clean up trash in order to help discourage them from coming around humans.
"With Boulder in particular, once a bear hits town and they start getting to food sources in town, they become a town bear," Churchill told the Daily Camera. "We need everybody to clean up every attractant they can, especially trash and bird feeders and any other food sources outside their homes."