Wayward bear’s journey across northern Delaware ends after car strike

The bear affectionately known as “Delabear” on social media met a tragic end after being hit by a car on a Delaware highway.

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A Louisiana black bear is seen in a water oak tree

In this May 17, 2015, file photo, a Louisiana black bear is seen in a water oak tree in Marksville, La. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

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For the past several days, a black bear nicknamed “Delabear” has been seen around the Newark area in New Castle County, setting social media abuzz. Roaming through backyards, the furry visitor was seen happily living and eating, thrilling residents with its presence.

Unfortunately, Delabear’s adventures were cut short Tuesday night, when it was struck by a car on Route 1 near School Bell Road in New Castle.

“We understand the community’s interest in the bear,’” said Joe Rogerson, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). “It’s always unfortunate when wildlife is lost in such a manner. Our team will be examining the bear to gather information.”

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Following the removal of the bear by the Delaware Natural Resource Police, wildlife biologists from DNREC will conduct an examination for information of its origin, sex and age. Their goal is to gather details to assist in tracking similar bears that might follow a similar route to Delaware.

With black bear populations growing in states such as Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, sightings in Delaware have become more frequent.

While wildlife officials refrain from intervening unless there is a threat to public safety, both DNRP and DNREC have trained officers prepared to handle situations involving black bears in the area.

For future sightings of similar bears, officials advise residents to follow these precautions:

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  • Do not approach, touch, feed or shoot at the bear.
  • Instead, go indoors, give the bear space and wait for it to leave.
  • Report sightings to DNRP at 800-523-3336.
  • Remove potential food sources from the yard.
  • Keep pet food indoors.

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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