EASTON (AP) — A Connecticut bear that became popular locally with its own Facebook page had to be put down by police after it was struck by a vehicle, authorities said Tuesday.
Outpourings of grief were posted on the page after Easton police announced the death of the bear nicknamed “211” for the number on state environmental tags it had on both ears.
Police said they received a report shortly before 6:30 p.m. Monday that a bear had been struck by a vehicle on Route 136 in Easton, which is just north of Bridgeport. When they arrived at the scene, officers said the bear was suffering from serious injuries and they had to put it down.
Police said the driver of the vehicle left the scene before officers arrived.
“I’m physically crying. That poor, sweet, innocent soul,” one person posted on Facebook.
“I can’t get over how sad this is, this poor bear was so loved and followed,” wrote another.
The Bear 211 Facebook page was created on May 28 and has nearly 5,000 members. People in several Connecticut towns and even Armonk, New York, posted photos and videos of 211 roaming through their properties and even taking a dip in their pool.
Several online postings criticized the driver of the vehicle that struck 211. But police said there is no law about hitting a bear with a vehicle and driving off, although the person may want to report it to police for car insurance purposes if there is damage to their vehicle.