US & Canada

Bear cub Snowy killed by car in Grand Teton National Park

Grizzly bears are a protected species Image copyright AP
Image caption Grizzly bears are a protected species

A bear cub named Snowy was killed in a possible hit-and-run accident near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Snowy was thought to be the lone cub this year of a well-known grizzly bear named 399, who was seen trying to heal the injured cub after the accident.

Grizzly bears are federally protected as a threatened species.

People took to social media with anger and sadness upon learning about the fate of Snowy the cub, so named for his white-blond fur on his face.

Mother 399, who is 20 years old and unlikely to have any more cubs, was was well-known to visitors and photographers because for many years she played by the side of the road.

In past mating seasons, she has given birth to triplets.

Image copyright Facebook

According to National Geographic, more than 100 large animals are typically killed on Grand Teton's roads each year in Wyoming.

"399's cub, known as Snowy or Spirit by the bear watchers of Grand Teton, was adored for its antics and notably white face and will be sorely missed," the Wyoming Wildlife Advocates group wrote on its Facebook page.

A release from a park official urged people to obey speed limits and be careful around dusk and dawn when animals are more likely to be out.

Park spokesman Andrew White said Snowy probably belonged to 399, but officials are doing a DNA test to be sure.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service plans to remove grizzly bears from the threatened species list.

There are 600 to 1,000 grizzlies in Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks, National Geographic estimates.

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