MILWAUKEE — A black bear was hit by a truck and killed early Wednesday morning, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office (MCSO).
Officials said the bear, estimated to weigh around 150 pounds, was hit around 1:09 a.m. in lane one from the North to the East in the Hale Interchange.
Deputies closed down one lane of traffic for about an hour while the bear was removed from the roadway.
MCSO contacted the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and said there were no injuries to any people during the incident.
The news comes just hours after a black bear was spotted in Franklin.
An employee of Allis-Roller near their shop at 60th and Ryan recorded the bear recently hanging out on a patch of grass near the road.
The DNR said while they can't be certain, they believe the bear struck and killed was the same one that was seen in Franklin. That bear is now in possession by the DNR and will be taken to a freezer in an attempt to salvage the animal for an educational specimen.
The DNR also said they believe there's an additional bear still moving across southeast Wisconsin.
"It's likely that there is more than one bear based on the number of reports and sightings we've been getting and the locations that they are," said Sara Fischer, Assistant Large Carnivore Biologist for Wisconsin DNR. "It's impossible to say the bear that was killed on the interstate was the same bear that was seen in Franklin, but given the close proximity to where it was seen and where this one was killed, it's very likely that it is the same bear."
Fischer said it was a young bear and was in good overall health.
"Every year, we have a few bear sightings throughout southeast Wisconsin, but to have them inside city limits is pretty rare." Fischer said. "They are typically looking for easy meals, which can take the form of backyard bird feeders and scraps from garbage bins."
Fischer said it is not uncommon around this time for bears to be moving around.
"It's usually young male bears that are breaking away from mom for the first time, trying to find new territory, and new mates," Fischer said. "We are in the tail end of mating season here. They come from up north, following wooded areas and forests. Taking refuge in those areas. Sometimes they make it into populated areas and get easily disoriented and skittish."