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Bears Hit By Cars, Two Cubs Unaccounted For

MADERA COUNTY – Two mother bears have been hit by cars in the past few days, one near Ahwahnee and one just outside North Fork.

According to Dan Fidler, Fresno Unit Biologist for Fish & Wildlife, a mother with cubs was struck by a car near Ahwahnee earlier this week. She had two cubs, one of which was subsequently hit and killed. Her other cub has not been located.

Tuesday evening at about 8 p.m., another bear was hit just east of Thornberry Road (420) on Road 223. Again, she was a mother with a cub. The young bear kept running back and forth into the roadway where his mother lay, and finally climbed up a tree.

Fish and Wildlife culvert trap - photo by John-Mark BrixFish & Wildlife was called that evening, but being plagued with the same personnel shortages suffered by most government agencies these days, they had no one in the mountains to respond.

The next day at around noon, Fish & Wildlife came out to the Road 223 incident, and though they searched with binoculars through the trees and surrounding area, they were unable to locate the cub. They did remove the body of the mother.

They did not set the culvert trap for the young bear, as that type of trap is not generally successful with cubs, according to Fidler.

Searching for cub - photo by John-Mark BrixHe is asking that the public keep an eye out for the young cubs, and call if they are spotted, 559-353-0216.

“Without their mother, they do run the risk of not surviving, depending on how old they are,” says Fidler, noting that a cub could be as small as 30 lbs. at this time of year.

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