Bear Takes Refuge in Bushes After Hit on SoCal Freeway | NBC Chicago
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Bear Takes Refuge in Bushes After Hit on SoCal Freeway

A bear struck on a SoCal freeway had to be euthanized. Lolita Lopez reports for the NBC4 News at 5 Monday, May 15, 2017.  

(Published Monday, May 15, 2017)

The story has been updated to reflect the bear could not be saved and had to be euthanized. 

Wildlife officials captured an injured bear that lay hidden in bushes after it was struck by a car on a Southern California freeway Monday morning.

The approximately 200-pound animal had wandered onto the westbound lanes of the 210 Freeway in La Verne about 7:40 a.m. and was hit by a vehicle, the La Verne Police Department said. The bear scurried off the freeway and took refuge in an embankment flanked by freeway lanes and homes.

Officers shut down the Fruit Street onramp and officials with Fish and Wildlife closed in on the bear with tranquilizers. Just after 10:30 a.m., aerial footage showed officers using a tarp to load the bear onto the bed of a pickup truck.

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The bear was taken to a rehabilitation center. After surgery, she could not be saved and had to be euthanized.

"Doing any sort of daily care or treatment for weeks and weeks would be very very hard on her," said Dr. Cynthia Kinney of the Inland Valley Humane Society. "Releasing her with these injuries, she would not have survived in the wild."

A California Highway Patrol incident report indicated there were no human injuries in the crash.

Wildlife officials advised residents that they could contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife if ever faced with a bear in their homes. 

They also provided tips on what to do if residents encounter a bear:

  • Slowly back away and don't approach the bear. 
  • Allow the bear plenty of room to pass or withdraw.
  • Once you are a safe distance away, encourage the bear to leave by banging pots and pans or making other loud noises.

To report a bear problem, residents can contact that following offices:

  • Northern Region 530-225-2300
  • North Central Region 916-358-2900
  • Bay Delta Region 707-944-5500
  • Central Region 559-243-4005
  • South Coast Region 858-467-4201
  • Inland Desert Region 909-484-0167
  • Sacramento Headquarters 916-322-8911
Wildlife officials advise residents living in bear country what to do if a bear enters their home.
Photo credit: California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Wildlife officials advise residents living in bear country what to do if a bear enters their home.


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