Bear hit, killed on 5 Freeway in Castaic; 2nd fatality this week

A large black bear was struck and killed on the 5 Freeway in Castaic late Thursday, marking the second time this week that a bear has been killed by cars in the area.

California Highway Patrol responded to the northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway at Templin Highway around 10:30 p.m. where the bear had been struck by several vehicles, officials said.

CHP blocked two lanes of travel until CalTrans crews arrived to remove the carcass from the roadway.

One of the cars, a BMW SUV, was disabled and needed to be towed. No drivers were hurt.

The large black bear was struck by vehicles on the 5 Freeway in Castaic, California. June 22, 2023. (TNLA)

On Monday, a bear cub was hit and killed by two vehicles on the 14 Freeway in Santa Clarita.

With the warmer weather, wildlife experts say bears are coming down from higher elevations to feed on fruit trees and easily accessible human food and trash.

California’s black bear population is estimated to be between 30,000 and 40,000, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. It is the only species of bear found in California since grizzlies were hunted to extinction a century ago.

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