Bear killed in collision with vehicle Monday near KOA west of Steamboat
A motor vehicle struck a male black bear, estimated at around 250 pounds, around noon Monday near the entrance to the Steamboat Springs KOA campground on U.S. Highway 40.
Sgt. Rich Brown with the Steamboat Springs Police Department said the bear ran into the road in front of a westbound black Ford Expedition and collided with the vehicle. According to the incident report, onlookers told dispatch they thought the bear was alive for a short time after the accident but then died on the roadway.
Police officials arrived to drag the dead bear out of the highway with bystanders watching nearby. A responding Colorado Parks & Wildlife officer removed the bear from the scene.
The driver was not hurt, but the vehicle sustained some front-end damage, Brown said.
CPW Area Wildlife Manager Kris Middledorf said officials are currently seeing a number of bears in town due to the dry weather hampering the growth of natural fruits and berries in the area. He asked both residents and visitors to work diligently to co-exist with bears, including everyone securing and locking all trash containers so that bears do not become habituated to human resources.
“A number of bears are in town right now, and people really need to start closing their windows, doors and garages to keep bears from breaking into the homes,” Middledorf said. “It’s still very dry, and we need the public to be very attentive.”
He urged people to also put away birdseed and birdfeeders and clean and secure grills, which also attract bears. The more bears become habituated to humans, the greater chance CPW officers will have to euthanize bears, something they don’t like to do.
Sgt. Brown said these types of encounters are becoming more and more common and advised drivers to slow down and watch for wildlife.
To reach Suzie Romig, call 970-871-4205 or email sromig@SteamboatPilot.com.
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