Bruno, the wandering bear who gained hundreds of admirers here, dies in Louisiana

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From stltoday.com – A bear that gained a social media following while wandering hundreds of miles in the Midwest — including a stop in Wentzville — and eventually reached Louisiana has died after being hit by a vehicle, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Wednesday.

The male bear dubbed Bruno was euthanized Tuesday because there was no way he could have survived, said Maria Davidson, large carnivore program manager for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Not only were both back legs broken, but they were paralyzed because of spinal injuries, she said: “He had been dragging himself, literally.”

Biologists estimated that Bruno had been injured about a month before a homeowner in Morehouse Parish, which is on the Arkansas state line in northeastern Louisiana, called the department Tuesday, saying a bear wouldn’t leave the yard.

Biologists went there.

“He was in bad shape. It was rough,” Davidson said.

He had traveled in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, swimming the Mississippi River four times, before getting cornered between two interstates and drawing a crowd of hundreds in the Wentzville area last July. Because that was dangerous for both bear and audience, Missouri wildlife officials tranquilized the bear and had him relocated.

“He got in a spot in a bunch of highways on the July Fourth weekend,” recalled Jason Sumners of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

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