A bear hit and killed by a vehicle Friday morning on Grand Forks County Road 33 between Manvel and Gilby, N.D., wasn’t as big as authorities estimated, but the animal definitely had been living well, a biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department said.
The bear was a male and weighed “only” 300 pounds, said Stephanie Tucker, furbearer biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck.
There had been speculation the bear weighed upwards of 400 pounds because it took four people using a winch to lift the animal into the back of game warden Blake Riewer’s pickup. “They’re just big, bulky things,” Tucker said of the bear.
The bear, which was hit about 6:30 a.m. Friday near the intersection of 33 and County Road 3, was taken to Bismarck for a necropsy. The bear likely was the same animal that recently had shown up on a trail camera near Mekinock, N.D., which isn’t far from where it was hit.
Game and Fish will send a tooth sample to an offsite lab to get an exact age on the bear, Tucker said, but the animal appeared to be a subadult or young adult male.
“We didn’t find anything unusual,” she said. “It looked like a healthy bear. Its stomach was full of corn.”
No further information about the incident was available Friday because authorities in North Dakota no longer have to file reports on routine animal collisions. The driver, who was on the way to work when the collision occurred, wasn’t injured.
The vehicle-bear collision was the second incident in less than a week of an unusual animal being hit and killed by a vehicle in Grand Forks County. The previous Saturday, Oct. 7, a motorist hit and killed a bull elk on U.S. Highway 2 near Dave’s Total RV Repair.