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May 16, 2011 8:02 PM by Andy Koen

Watch out for wildlife on the roads

Last night, Cyndi Walker got closer to Mother Nature than she would have liked. She was driving home along Austin Bluffs just east of Union when she spotted a large black bear running across the road toward her vehicle.

"I'm like, alright I'll swerve to the right and I swerved to the right and he was still gaining speed and he just hit head on into the driver side."

She pulled over and watched the bear run away toward Palmer Park. She was startled to see wild animals in the middle of such an urban area.

"I've never seen a bear on Austin Bluffs," Walker said. "I grew up in Manitou and I never saw a bear crossing the street or the road or anything."

Despite the busy roads, wildlife officers say a lot of animals actually live in that particular area. Michael Seraphin of the Colorado Division of Wildlife says there have been at least 3 bears spotted in that area in the past couple of days.

"Wildlife tend to use these lower corridors and then often times, jump up and go across the road in places like this," Seraphin said.

He says the bears seem to be migrating between Palmer Park and the Pulpit Rock area. Cyndi says, given the circumstances, she just didn't know who to call after the accident.

"That's such a busy area of town that if somebody else sees them or spots them or hits them again or hits any other wildlife, I'm not sure what to do."

Police officers say you should report any accidents involving wildlife within 3 days, even in situations like Cyndi's where only her vehicle was damaged.

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