Steamboat Springs Wildlife officials think a bear found dead in the Yampa River in Steamboat Springs might have been hit by a car.
The adult female was found at about 4:30 p.m. Monday on a gravel bar along West Lincoln Park.
After getting the bear out of the river, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager Jim Haskins said officials took it to the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area and skinned it and tried to determine a cause of death. The hide later will be auctioned, and proceeds will go to Parks and Wildlife.
Haskins said that the bear did not have any gunshot wounds but that it did have trauma to its lungs and under a shoulder. Haskins said a bear had been seen in the area in recent days, and it is possible the bear was hurt after being hit by a car and then drowned while trying to cross the river.
Haskins said there were signs the bear had a cub or cubs.
Haskins said he was not aware of any recent reports of a bear being hit by a car.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com