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Black bear killed in crash near Thief River Falls

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THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- A black bear was killed over the weekend in a crash near Thief River Falls, according to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Department.

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No one in the vehicle was injured, the department said. A vehicle damage estimate was not available.

These days, bears have become more common road hazards than moose or elk, said Jeremy Woinarowicz, a conservation officer with state Department of Natural Resources.

Last year, three bears were killed by vehicles in his territory of northwestern Minnesota, he said. “It’s not near as common as deer strikes, but it does happen.”

Woinarowicz recalls one elk being hit by a vehicle in the past decade.

The weekend accident happened about 11 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and state Highway 32, according to sheriff’s department.

The bear, which was estimated to weigh 350 pounds, was given to an area resident who wanted the hide, Woinarowicz said.

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