Bear is euthanized after wandering onto 210 Freeway, getting struck by vehicle

on May16

An onramp to the 210 Freeway in La Verne was temporarily closed Monday morning after a bear wandered onto the freeway and was struck by a vehicle and injured.

The female bear suffered a broken leg and after undergoing examination by a veterinarian, the animal was euthanized, wildlife officials said.

Bear struck near Fruit Street in La Verne

It was about 7:40 a.m. when La Verne police officers spotted the bear walking along Bowdoin Street, authorities said.

The bear made its way onto the 210 Freeway nearby. While walking on the freeway, the animal was struck by a vehicle near the Fruit Street exit, La Verne police said in a statement.

The injured bear then scurried off the freeway, where it lay down in bushes near the Fruit Street onramp to the westbound freeway, officials said. It was limping after it was struck, KTLA-TV reported.

Freeway ramp closed; bear tranquilized

The California Highway Patrol temporarily closed the Fruit Street onramp to the westbound 210 Freeway while the bear hid in the bushes. The ramp was reopened by 10:50 a.m., according to the CHP.

Residents in the area were asked to stay in their homes while officials dealt with the animal.

California Fish and Wildlife Department wardens fired a tranquilizer gun at the animal, which passed out after it was hit, according to KTLA.

Just after 10:30 a.m., officials carried the bear on a tarp to a pickup truck and transported it to the Inland Valley Humane Society in Pomona, according to KABC. There, officials said, the animal was examined by a vet to assess its injuries.

The bear, which weighed about 300 pounds, suffered a broken leg when it was hit by the vehicle, wildlife officials said.

“The vet feels the injuries it has sustained would lead to a long, slow, painful and complicated healing process, and recommends euthanization based on those facts,” Kirsten Macintyre, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said in an e-mail.

“Our wildlife biologists have been consulting with the vet, and we agree.”

Not the only bear sighting this week

A similar bear story played out in Indio on Sunday morning.

A man on a bicycle spotted an approximately 3-year-old black bear sitting in a bicycle lane on Adams Street, near the 10 Freeway, the Desert Sun reported. The bear was startled and hid in some nearby oleander bushes.

“For several hours, [authorities] ran up and down the street with their attention focused on the trees and bushes in front of them, occasionally peeking inside to catch a glimpse of the bear,” the newspaper reported. “On several occasions, it ran back and forth in a north and south direction, forcing officials to follow suit to prevent it from escaping.”

That bear was also tranquilized, and officials said they planned to release it into the San Jacinto Mountains near Hemet or Anza.


8:10 p.m.: This article was updated with details on the euthanasia of the bear.

1:25 p.m. This article was updated with additional information from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

This article was originally published at 12:25 p.m.

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