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May 16, 2011 4:46 PM by Andy Koen

On wildlife accidents and road kill permits

Earlier I posted a story about Cyndi Walker who was hit by a bear last night as she was driving home from work along Austin Bluffs Parkway. A spokesperson for the Colorado Spring Police Department says drivers should report all traffic accidents involving wildlife even in situations like Cyndi's where only her vehicle was damaged.

Public information officer Sgt. Steve Noblitt says these types of accidents are similar to someone skidding and hitting curb in the winter. There is a 72 hour grace period to file the report.

It is unnecessary to report accidents involving wildlife to the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Spokesperson Michael Seraphin says the only reason that someone would contact his agency is to file a road kill permit. Yes, people can actually claim the carcass of a dead animal if they so choose.

Seraphin says road kill permits are usually issued for elk or deer and are not issued for bears. The bear involved in Cyndi's accident didn't actually die (as far as we know) and Cyndi says she wouldn't have wanted it anyway.

Seraphin and I spent some time walking around the area near the accident site. He says there have been several bear sightings in that area recently. It sounds like the bears tend to migrate between Palmer Park, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs campus and Pulpit Rock area.

In fact, you may be surprised how close wildlife areas come to major roadways in Colorado Springs. We'll take you for a closer look tonight at 6:00 p.m. on News First 5.

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