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Pregnant Woman Hit by Car While Fleeing from Bear

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Associated Press: A pregnant woman who was fleeing a bear when she was struck by a slow-moving car said she would honor the euthanized animal by giving her baby the middle name "Bear."

Ashley Swendsen, 26, said she thought the bear followed her more out of curiosity than malice because it kept a distance of about 10 feet Thursday morning on a hiking trail in northwestern Colorado Springs.

As she ran, she thought, "If it was going to hurt me, it already would have."

Swendsen managed to scramble up an embankment and was crossing the street when she was hit by a slow-moving car. Although she was not seriously injured, she was taken to a hospital as a precaution because she was pregnant.

Police said they're looking for the driver of the car that hit Swendsen. The driver stopped and spoke to her but left before police arrived.

Swendsen said she first spotted the bear as it was coming out of a creek.

"I didn't know what to do, so I just kept walking," she said. "I wasn't going to start sprinting."

But she started running when the bear moved toward her.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife said the chase happened in an area where bears are common. Division spokesman Michael Seraphin said the brown-colored North American black bear was tranquilized and later euthanized after Swendsen identified it.

Swendsen said she was sad to hear about the bear's death.

"Yeah, because the bear spared me, and then it had to die," she said.

Swendsen, who is about five months pregnant, said she doesn't know the sex of her baby but will give it the middle name "Bear" whether it's a boy or a girl.

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jessica April 24, 2009, 12:02 PM

I don’t understand why they euthanized the bear. They could have simply moved it to deeper woods. I’m not a fanatic PETA person, but I do think that euthanizing animals who are just behaving normally in their natural environment should be left alone. It’s us humans who need to have more respect for wildlife. SMH

AM  April 24, 2009, 12:44 PM

It sounds like he was more a curious bear than a violent one. Surely if wanted to he could have outrun a pregnant woman. Couldn’t they have relocated the bear or had a zoo adopt him?? Jeeze

birdsfly April 24, 2009, 3:20 PM

In my town a girl got to be in the paper because she found some coyote pups. They didn’t run in the paper the part where they have them all euthanized because they were “pests” living too close to people.

Denise April 24, 2009, 5:06 PM

Why did they have to kill it? This is outrageous considering he didn’t even become aggressive with anyone!

Jenna April 24, 2009, 5:38 PM

What the heck did they kill the bear for?! It didn’t even attack her! This is outrageous!

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