Tuesday, May 08, 2012

“I can fly!”

CU Bear

This is, without question, the best bear tranquilizer photo I’ve ever seen. My guess is that Andy Duann, the photographer for the University of Colorado-Boulder student newspaper, set his camera for rapid fire continuous shooting when it looked like the bear was about to fall and this is the best frame in a series.

The picture was shot on April 26 after the 280-pound black bear wandered onto the campus near a dormitory complex. The bear climbed a tree, was shot with a tranquilizer dart and landed on an airbag. He was released in a mountain wilderness area about 50 miles west of Boulder.

But there’s a sad coda to the story. The hapless bear was fatally injured last Thursday when he was struck by a car on U.S. 36. Wildlife officials said an ear tag confirmed it was the same bear that Duann photographed for the CU Independent. His photo went viral and resulted in the bear having its own Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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