The California Highway Patrol reported that a bear was struck on the SR-154 highway yesterday as it attempted to cross Cold Spring Bridge.
The accident occurred at approximately 6:15 a.m. when a silver BMW collided with the animal, breaking both of its hind legs. The bear was pronounced dead upon the arrival of the Dept. of Fish and Game. Caltrans then transported the bear’s remains to a Chumash spiritual leader.
While the vehicle did suffer major damage, the driver was not injured.
In 2008, a 250-pound American black bear was seen wandering campus between Harder Stadium and Los Carneros Road. Likely displaced by the 2007 Zaca Fire, rumors reported that the bear had crossed Highway 101 and returned to the forest, though it was never officially found.
California’s black bear population was last estimated to be 17,000 to 23,000 in 1998.
The Department of Fish and Game estimates the bear population annually and we estimates there are approximately 40,000 bears in the State. For detailed information on the department’s bear issues please see http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/bear/