A bear that trekked thousands of miles to return to her home turf after she was relocated by order of the governor has died, according to wildlife officials.
Known as “Mink,” the black bear was set to be euthanized along with three of her offspring in 2017 after repeated problems with them feeding from trash and bird feeders culminated with two bears entering a home in Hanover. Republican Gov. Sununu instead ordered them to be moved to far northern New Hampshire, but Mink returned the following year with four new cubs.
In 2018, she was fitted with a tracking collar and moved 120 miles north, but she again returned to Hanover after traveling thousands of miles in a looping route through New Hampshire and Vermont.
After officials noticed no movement for several days, her body was found Tuesday near the Mascoma River in Lebanon, the Valley News reported. She appeared to have a broken foreleg, and given the proximity to Interstate 89, she likely was struck by a vehicle, said Andrew Timmins, who leads the black bear project for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
Mink, who was in her teens and weighed over 200 pounds, had three cubs this year. Authorities searched a large area near her home range for them with no luck, Timmins said.
“We’re going to be relying on reports, hoping people get some sightings of them,” Timmins said.