Injured bear euthanized
A 250-pound bear hit by a car on Donner Pass Road was euthanized last week because of the animal’s severe internal injuries from the collision.
Local wildlife emerging from hibernation and returning to the highlands as summer approaches add dangers for both animals and residents, officials said.
On May 15 at about 9:30 p.m. a citizen called 9-1-1 to report a bear had just been hit by a car near Donner Memorial State Park, said Dave Baker, president of the Truckee Bear League.
The cinnamon-colored adult bear made its way into the brush about 50 feet from the road when Truckee Animal Control and Bear League staff arrived at the scene, Baker said. The bear’s face and left paw were bloody and personnel determined he also had severe internal injuries, Baker said.
“All of us made the call to put the bear down,” said Baker, adding that otherwise the animal would have posed a danger to the public.
The driver was going the speed limit at 35 mph, Baker said.
Every year about three or four bears are struck by vehicles on area roadways, and most die from the collision, said Dan Olsen, animal control manager for the Town of Truckee.
People shouldn’t attempt to approach a bear if it’s been injured, Olsen said. Call 9-1-1 or the police department to alert officers of the incident, he said.
“You can’t just go and pick up a bear and throw it in the truck,” Olsen said.
Unfortunately when a bear is injured, they are not easily rehabilitated, Olsen said. Truckee has no permitted wildlife rehabilitation center unlike Homewood and South Lake Tahoe, he said.
When a deer is hit by car, it’s not likely to survive either, Olsen said, and animal control usually doesn’t respond to after-hours calls involving deer.
Depaite a mild winter, animal control hasn’t responded to more calls than usual, said Olsen.
Motorists should slow down and watch the sides of the road, especially while driving at night, Olsen said.
“Just be really aware of your surroundings,” Olsen said.
The Truckee Bear League is working to donate the bear’s mounted head to Donner Memorial State Park, Baker said.
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