QUEENSBURY -- The black bear cub that had been wandering the woods and parking lots around Aviation Road with its mother this past week was hit and killed by a car Monday morning, officials said.
The cub was hit on the west side of the southbound lanes of the Northway between exits 19 and 20 around 9 a.m. Monday.
Queensbury Animal Control Officer Jim Fitzgerald said his office and police received calls about it being seen moving along the highway, but when authorities got to the area they found it had been hit moments earlier.
“We got there within four minutes or so of the call but it was too late,” Fitzgerald said.
He estimated the baby bruin weighed about 40 pounds.
The mother has not been seen in the area since two days before the accident, when the two bears were spotted late Saturday in woods behind Aviation Mall and behind Price Rite Plaza on Upper Glen Street.
At one point around 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the cub was next to the entrance of Aviation Mall near the Sears store.
Queensbury resident Melody Smith said a number of people were taking pictures as the cub wandered down the hill near the Sears entrance.
“I was worried the mother was nearby and the people taking pictures were going to chase it into traffic,” Smith said.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation was notified, and a conservation officer was sent to the area.
The bears, though, had gone into the woods at that point, and there were no complaints to police about them until early Monday.
State Police were concerned that the cub’s mother might be in the area and could become protective as Fitzgerald removed the cub’s remains, but he said the mother was not seen.
“It’s sad,” he said. “We’ve been following them around for a few weeks.”