NC State University Police say the dead bear that was found on a bench between Bostian Hall and the Brickyard on Tuesday morning died after being struck by a vehicle. The bear was brought to campus after it died, police say, although they have not yet determined who is responsible.
The unusual story went viral on social media and was picked up by local, national and international outlets.
The 200-pound adolescent black bear was removed quickly by North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission officers and taken to the agency’s Rollins Laboratory on Blue Ridge Road.
Thursday afternoon, N.C. Wildlife Commission spokesman Geoffrey Cantrell said unofficial results of the necropsy indicated the bear suffered broken bones and injuries consistent with being struck by a car.
That information was also shared with campus police.
“The bear was struck by a vehicle, based on the information we have received from the Wildlife Commission,” said Maj. David Kelly with university police. “There was no evidence of it being shot or anything like that.”
Kelly said that none of the surveillance cameras in the general vicinity of the Brickyard captured any footage of the perpetrators.
“None of the cameras was close enough to get that location,” Kelly said. “We pulled up all the cameras in that area, but did not have a clean line of sight to that area.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Wildlife Commission hotline at 1-800-662-7137.
The bench where the bear was found lying on its back with one of its front paws outstretched quickly became a makeshift double memorial, featuring a balloon that read “Sorry you’re under the weather” and a handful of red and pink flowers.
The bench was already a memorial to Paul Elam McCarthy, an NC State zoology graduate who died in a car accident while attending the Boston University Goldman School of Dentistry. Each year, an endowment established in McCarthy’s memory awards scholarships to students in a pre-dental program at NC State.