A black bear that shuttled between towns in Connecticut and Armonk in Westchester County this spring and summer was hit by a car early Monday evening and had to be euthanized.
Bear 211 was struck by a vehicle on Route 136 near Wilson Road in Easton, Conn. at about 6:19 p.m. on Monday, the town’s police chief, Richard Doyle, stated in a release on Tuesday. When officers responded, they found the bear was suffering from serious injuries, which forced authorities to put him down.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) was notified and responded to remove the bear. The vehicle involved in the accident left the scene before the officers’ arrival.
There had been multiple sightings of Bear 211 on both sides of the New York-Connecticut state line. It had been tagged by DEEP earlier this spring and was seen wearing a pink tag on each ear with the number 211. Doyle said the bear weighed about 125 pounds.
Over the past two months, Bear 211 had collected a large online following, even having his own Facebook page created with more than 6,000 followers to track his whereabouts and share stories of sightings.
Posters expressed their condolences on the page following the news. Some blamed his demise on the driver while others criticized their neighbors’ refusal to take down their bird feeders, one popular source of food for bears in this region, and allowing him to be acclimated to humans.
“Our friend has gone on to another world,” said poster Daniel Dwyer, who said he had visited his house four times despite yelling and tossing a watering can at him. “Let’s not waste time blaming each other, the driver that hit him or anyone we think is partially at fault for this unfortunate chain of events.”
Fairfield, Conn. resident Allison Stein wrote on the page that the bear visited during a party for her son’s fourth birthday last Saturday, where he played on a splashpad in the backyard, chewed a flip-flop and climbed into the hammock.
“Truly amazing experience – he is definitely humanized,” Stein wrote on the page on Monday before the accident. “When I first spotted him, he was about 30 feet away from my kids who were on the splash pad. He kept sauntering up and wasn’t phased (sic) by my yelling/running towards the kids to get them inside.”
A few weeks ago, officials in North Castle had cautioned the public after multiple sightings in late June and early July to remove all sources of potential food, including bird feeders and pet food, and to make sure to properly cover trash cans.