By Staff

MARION (CBS) — A black bear nicknamed ‘Boo Boo’ who was seen wandering through several towns in southeastern Massachusetts earlier this summer has died, according to the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. It is believed the bear passed away after being hit by a car on Interstate 195 in Marion.

When the crash was initially reported on June 24, Boo Boo was not found near the scene. After not hearing about any bear sightings since the day of the crash though, an officer from Mass. Wildlife returned to the area. They found bear remains in thick underbrush on July 6. DNA analysis determined it was Boo Boo.

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About 30-40 bears are killed every year by car crashes, the agency said. From June 2018 to July 1, 2020, Mass. Wildlife logged 83 reports of bear/vehicle collisions.

“The reason the bear was not relocated, is because its presence in the area does not constitute a public safety threat. Black bears are not inherently aggressive towards people and if people leave the bear alone, bears and people can peacefully coexist,” Mass. Wildlife said in a statement.

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There is also plenty of natural habitat in the area.

“While it is unfortunate that the bear was killed by the vehicle strike, a lot of positive things came out of his time in the area,” the agency said. “This bear’s travels through the region led to many people, including police departments, town officials and residents being educated on how to safely and successfully coexist with bears.  I suspect it won’t be too long before another bear makes its way down here, and our Towns are that much more prepared to live with bears because of this experience.”

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The bear population in Massachusetts is growing and bear sightings are expected to become more common in the next 10 years. Staff