Three Black Bear Cubs Rescued After Motorcycle Crash Claims Their Mother

by Jon D. B.

Black bears are out in full force for the summer season, leading to an uptick in tragic accidents like this motorcycle crash that orphaned three cubs.

Thankfully, the motorcycle’s driver has only minor injuries. Their bike was seriously damaged, as well, but it’s the bears that suffered the worse fate. After running into a Littleton, New Hampshire road, the bear sow was struck at a high speed by the motorcycle. She died of her injuries on the scene.

The sow was mother to three young cubs, who will need rehabilitation by a wildlife rescue in order to survive. Bear cubs cannot survive the winter without their mother. The siblings have been relocated to Kilham bear Center in Lyme, NH, where they’ll stay until release next year.

Littleton police say the motorcyclist was traveling in the area of Orchard Hill Road on Saturday, July 30, when they struck the black bear sow.

Summer is black bear season, and human-bear encounters increase dramatically during summer months. This was the first of two reported motorcycle-bear collisions in a few days. A separate incident claimed the life of another bear in central Minnesota after another motorcyclist collided with a black bear.

According to Valley News Live, Pillager Fire & Rescue says a passerby came across the accident on Pillager, Minn.’s County Road 34. The incident, which occurred just before 2:00 p.m. on Monday, August 1, caused “significant road rash, scrapes, bruises, and a broken wrist” to the driver.

First responders also cite the driver as not wearing a helmet. They were taken to Staples Medical Center via ambulance and are expected to survive the crash. This black bear, however, also died of their injuries. No cubs are known to be left behind by this incident.

Black Bear Season Requires Extra Safety Measures in Bear Country

As this Outsider can tell you, riding a motorcycle during any season warrants the utmost awareness. Crashes are often fatal, and it’s up to the driver to practice safe riding.

During any time of the year, riding at dawn or dusk is risky, as visibility is lessened for all drivers. It’s during these times that many large species of wildlife are active, too. Deer are diurnal, meaning dawn and dusk is when they come out to forage. More people are killed in deer-related motor accidents than in any other wildlife-related cause every year.

But as these back-to-back incidents show, it’s not just deer that drivers must watch out for. Black bears are highly active in summer. And in bear country, our roads cut directly through their habitat. Weighing anywhere from 200-600 pounds, these bears can cause horrific accidents if caught in traffic.

Please always wear your helmet when riding, and be sure to keep a watchful eye for wildlife. It could save your life – and theirs.