Mother bear killed in accident near North Canaan; officials looking for two cubs

File photo — Two orphaned black bear cubs Juneau (left) and Valdez explore their new home at the San Francisco Zoo in San Francisco, Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017.

NORTH CANAAN — A mother bear was killed in a motor vehicle accident Friday, the local animal control office said, and authorities are looking for her two orphaned cubs.

The accident occurred on Route 7 near the Massachusetts line, a Facebook post by the animal control office said. Both cubs ran off after their mother was killed.

“If these cubs are seen wandering alone, we need to get size reference to determine if they need help,” the post reads.

That will depend on how big and how old the two cubs are, according to the post, which was shared more than 770 times as of Friday evening.

Police in Sheffield, Mass., said the accident occurred on their side of the border.

Chief Eric Munson of the Sheffield Police Department said the call came in around 10 a.m., but “unfortunately” the bear had died by the time he arrived.

Sheffield Police, New Marlborough, Mass., Police and Sheffield Animal Control searched the nearby woods but could not find the missing cubs, he said.

North Canaan animal control said the two animals may be confused and looking for food. They asked that people not try to harm the animals.

The accident is the latest in a handful of bear-strike accidents in the region, some of which have proved fatal to humans and bears.

Earlier this month, a 65-year-old Plymouth man was killed after his Harley-Davidson motorcycle struck a black bear in Harwinton.

A month before, a black bear weighing close to 200 pounds was killed after it was struck by two cars in Litchfield.

The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has advised people against feeding bears both intentionally and unintentionally, and some towns have adopted ordinances against intentionally feeding them or leaving bird feeders out past the winter months.

Connecticut Media Group