Bear Put Down After Auto Accident Caused Serious Injuries

A black bear crossing a road
By  | 

RENO, Nev. -- A bear versus vehicle accident on highway 28 stopped traffic for a time Saturday morning. And in the end, the bear involved had to be put down.

It happened at about 10:15 just north of Crystal Bay. Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) Trooper Robbie Burgess says a 350+ pound female black bear ran out into the highway and the driver, traveling northbound, was unable to avoid her.

No one in the car was hurt, but the bear suffered injuries resulting in her being unable to move her hindquarters. A Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) crew was called in to help. They tranquilized the bear and got her off the shoulder of the roadway.

Highway 28 was closed for about 10 minutes while the NDOW crew picked the bear up at around 11:30am. Other than that, the road remained open.

NDOW official Chris Healy said he spoke to the warden who reports the bear's injuries were too severe and she had to be euthanized.

Officials estimate her age at eight to ten years. She was not actively nursing, meaning she was not currently caring for cubs. Healy says 350 pounds is extremely big for a wild-land bear, and her large size suggests she had access to high-calorie, high-quality food.

Healy says over the past 16 years, 160 bears have died as the result of automobile accidents in western Nevada. Most of these accidents happen at night and during the very early morning hours, and the vast majority occur in the Tahoe Basin.