Two Bear Cubs Killed in Colorado Highway Collision

by Lauren Boisvert
(Image Credit: Chuck Schug Photography/Getty Images)

In Colorado, two black bear cubs were struck by a vehicle on Highway 40 in Steamboat Springs recently. The Steamboat Police Department arrived on the scene on Wednesday, finding one of the cubs dead and the other seriously injured. The second cub had to be euthanized. Officials speculate that a semi-truck hit the bears and didn’t stop.

Colorado State Patrol recorded an uptick in bear collisions on the roads in 2021, stating that it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings while driving, especially at dusk and dawn when bears may be more active. CSP says that when faced with this type of a decision, drivers have to make a quick choice.

If you are alone on the road and can safely stop your vehicle, do so to avoid an accident. If there is no way to slow down or stop, the best decision is just to “drive through” at a slight angle. It’s not the most favorable choice, but it is the safest way to avoid a larger collision with other cars, such as when this deer entered the highway in Indiana and caused a fatal crash.

Bear Cub Hit By Car in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Recovering

On Oct. 2, Great Smoky National Park rangers responded to a report of an injured bear cub in the park. The 8-month-old cub had been hit by a car and was laying on the side of the road. She was still alive, as rangers clapped their hands at her to test her awareness. She stood up and limped off the side of the road, climbing a tree. Her mother and siblings were allegedly nearby on the other side of the road.

Ranger Greg Greico arrived on the scene and decided to sedate the cub and take her to a rescue facility for care. Apparently, the cub was not vocal with her mother, a warning sign that the accident seriously injured her. The rangers took the cub to Appalachian Bear Rescue, which posted updates on the cub on Facebook, nicknaming her Myrtle.

“Her mobility seems good,” the rescue organization wrote on Oct. 2. “She can walk in a straight line, not staggering, and not in circles,” it wrote. “Her head seems to be in control of her body. She can direct her feet to where her noggin wants them to go (i.e to the food bowls). Her scat and urine don’t contain blood, and she seems to have no trouble eliminating either.”

The specialists were impressed by Myrtle’s quick recovery, but still weren’t putting all their eggs in that basket. “[Specialists] have seen injured bears seem to rally only to crash the next day,” the organization wrote. So far, though, Myrtle seemed to be on the mend. She will eventually move to a “wild enclosure” with four other rehabilitated bear cubs.