The animal went viral this summer after it became well-known for wandering through residents’ backyards around Fairfield County. According to an Associated Press report, police had to put the black bear down after arriving at the scene.
Easton Police Chief Rich Doyle told CBS2 that Bear 211 was involved in a hit-and-run incident near Easton, Connecticut. Authorities received emergency calls about the incident that took place on Route 136 around 6:30 p.m. When officials arrived at the scene, they found the black bear and realized it had severe injuries. State officials decided to euthanize the bear after accessing its wounds.
“It had some broken legs and it was barely breathing when my officers got there,” Doyle said to CBS2.
In addition, Doyle pointed out why people seemed to gravitate to the black bear, especially on social media. Fans created a Facebook page to track the animal’s whereabouts, which garnered thousands of followers. Doyle said people loved the black bear’s charisma and enjoyed seeing him roam suburban areas around New York and Connecticut.
“I think the bear was very charismatic. It was not that afraid of humans,” the police chief added. “It would be swimming in people’s pools, playing on their swing set, things like that.”
Black Bear’s Death Mourned Online by Fans
The director of nature programs at Earthplace Nature Center, Becky Newman, passed on a warning about respecting wildlife. She says the blurred lines of humanity encroaching upon nature is making it all the more imperative that we make sure to coexist with animals like black bears. Newman added that they’re not pets, and we shouldn’t treat them as such.
“I’m hoping that the takeaway can be that we respect nature and wildlife from a distance and we can coexist with them without trying to make them our pets and our projects,” Newman said to CBS2.
Many followers of Bear 211’s Facebook page have mourned the black bear’s death this week. Since May 28, the account has racked up more than 5,000 followers. Fans of the bear wanted to follow Bear 211’s adventures in suburbia as it roamed through Westchester County, New York and Connecticut this summer.
An article by PEOPLE relayed some of Bear 211’s fans’ thoughts after learning of its death. Many mourned the black bear’s passing and shared their sorrow online.
“My heart is broken right now to the point where I can’t stop the tears. I am in the middle of making a Bear 211 album, (which I will continue), because of the joy he has brought me, and so many others,” one Facebook fan wrote as they grieved the bear’s passing. “Never has a wild/forest animal been loved so much in this area.”
“This bear brought so much happiness and was often the topic of conversation at the dinner table with our children… (they actually put their phones down),” another fan shared. “Thank you again Bear 211 for bringing light to many people who needed it.”