Bears in harm’s way on Three Rivers roads


Last Wednesday morning, in broad daylight, another bear was hit by a vehicle and fatally injured. The incident occurred when a young black bear darted across Sierra Drive (Highway  198) into the path of a vehicle just west of the Three Rivers Historical Museum.
The Three Rivers motorist told a California Highway Patrol officer at the scene that she had no time to stop or avoid hitting the young bear. The deceased cub is possibly one of two cubs orphaned by another fatal bear accident that occurred Halloween night in the vicinity of Three Rivers School.
New details were brought forth by private citizens in the accident that happened at 9 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31 (“Bear hit, killed near TRUS,” November 4, 2016). In this fatality, which also involved a Three Rivers driver, a large black bear, believed to be the mother of two cubs, also was crossing the roadway. 
In both accidents, CHP was notified. In the nighttime incident, flares were placed on the roadway to warn oncoming motorists. according to a passenger in the vehicle.   
As is normal procedure, the CHP notified a local California Department of Fish and Wildlife officer. A local Native American tribal representative was also summoned to take possession of the deceased animal for ceremonial blessing.
The season’s total of reported bear fatalities is now five. Drivers are advised to drive slower than the posted speed limit, especially after dark, to avoid hitting a bear or other wildlife that are active this time of year. Approach known corridors where animals cross the highway (Chevron to the Three Rivers Historical Museum; Three Rivers Post Office to Kaweah General Store; Totem Market to Sequoia National Park entrance) with extreme caution.

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