‘Poor sweet bear!’ Durham residents surprised and saddened after bear is killed by car – Raleigh News & Observer

A driver collided with a black bear near Durham, North Carolina.A driver collided with a black bear near Durham, North Carolina. Screengrab from Facebook post by John Rives.

A black bear was hit by an SUV along a highway and killed near Durham, North Carolina, and residents are both saddened, and somewhat surprised. “Here’s something you don’t see every day in Durham,” a tow truck driver said in a Wednesday post, sharing photos from the collision. (Warning: graphic images) “Sad to see it.

But unfortunately part of life,” he wrote. “For the naysayer saying they don’t exist around here here’s your proof.” Black bears are fairly common in North Carolina. Still, some are surprised when they’re spotted in urban and suburban areas.

“So sad,” one user said. “But in Durham??? Oh wow.” Some directed their anger at whoever was behind the wheel, but according to the tow truck driver, neither party is to blame.

“The lady that hit [it] was very upset,” he said. “Pitch black out and a black bear. She never saw it.” The post had been shared over 3,100 times as of Wednesday afternoon.

Some said society at large is to blame for the bear’s death. “Y’all cutting their homes down, and moving into these new homes,” one person commented. “No need to be shocked when you see that more animals are coming out.” Black bears rarely pose any danger to humans, so long as people keep their distance and respect them for the wild animals they are.

Sightings and encounters aren’t so unusual in the state. Earlier this year, an Asheville man playing a DJ set in his living room was surprised to turn around and see a black bear standing at his front door, McClatchy News reported. When the two came face-to-face, the bear simply walked off.

“He comes around a lot, but never to the front door!” the man said. “He’s actually a very polite neighbor.”

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Mitchell Willetts is a real-time news reporter covering the Carolinas for McClatchy.

He is a University of Oklahoma graduate and outdoors enthusiast.