Bear relocated from I-75 hit by vehicle, dies - WNEM TV 5

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Bear relocated from I-75 hit by vehicle, dies

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The bear being moved from culvert last week The bear being moved from culvert last week
A photo of the bear skin - courtesy Jeffrey Jenkins A photo of the bear skin - courtesy Jeffrey Jenkins
BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A 180-pound black bear that was relocated last week after trying to take up residence in a culvert along Interstate 75 in Bay County has been killed by a car.

A vehicle traveling down Erickson Road, east of 11 Mile Road in Bay County's Fraser Township, struck the bear at about 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Authorities say the 2-year-old bear was so badly injured he had to be euthanized be a Michigan State Trooper.  DNR officers were called before it was put down.

The driver of the vehicle, 30-year-old Billy Elwood of Pinconning, was not injured in the crash.

"I was on my way home from work and all of a sudden here comes a black bear running out of a driveway," Elwood said. "I didn't even have time to hit the brakes."

After being tranquilized last week, the bear was fitted with a GPS tracking device. The DNR tracked the bear near I-75 again before it was struck.

At the scene of the collision, the decision was made to release the bear's body to Elwood. Elwood then had the bear processed, with plans to donate the meat to the American Legion in Crump.

DNR officials later determined the meat would have to be tested before consumption since the bear was previously tranquillized.

Elwood says he plans to keep the bear skin.

"I'm always waiting for the deer to come out," he said. "Never in a million years would I have thought I'd hit a black bear."

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