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'Falling Bear' dies after Colorado car crash

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Black bear

© Rex Features / WestEnd61

A black bear who became an internet sensation last week (April 29) has died after causing a car crash.

The 280-pound bear went viral after it became trapped up a tree in Colorado, before it was tranquillised. A photo taken of the bear as it fell to the ground showed the bear comically spread-eagled in mid-air.

It was relocated 50 miles (80 km) from the city of Boulder last week, but died on Thursday morning (May 3), Colorado Parks and wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said.

Churchill explained that the bear had returned to the city in search of food before causing a car crash on the highway.

Two cars were "totalled" on Highway 36 by the bear, with one driver treated in hospital for minor injuries, said Colorado State Patrol trooper Josh Lewis.

Despite being relocated safely away from the town, it returned to the city and was killed two miles (3km) away from the University of Colorado, where the original incident took place.

Jennifer Churchill added that a dry winter had caused some bears to search urban areas for a larger food supply.

"If a bear finds a food source it will return even if it's in town," she said. "This could be a tough year for bears."

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