A medical van taking a patient to a doctor’s appointment struck a bear on Interstate 195 in Marion on Thursday. Whether the injured animal was “Boo Boo,” the black bear that’s been spotted roaming a number of South Shore communities in recent weeks, was a bit fuzzy.
The crash sent the medical van off the road and into the woods. There were no injuries to the driver or the patient, police said.
“The van was towed, and the passenger, an elderly male from New Bedford, was taken to his doctor’s appointment by an ambulance that responded to the scene,” said State Police spokesman David Procopio. “We notified the Environmental Police of a possibly injured black bear in the area.”
The Marion Fire Department said in a statement that the bear “was reported to have gotten up and run into the woods following the crash.
“It is unclear if the bear that was hit is the black bear that has been frequently seen across the South Shore over the past several weeks,” fire officials said.
But Jason E. Zimmer, district supervisor for the state Division of Fisheries & Wildlife’s Southeast Wildlife District, said he believes the bear was indeed “Boo Boo.”
“I strongly believe that this bear is the same one that has been roaming throughout many towns in Southeastern Massachusetts over the past month or so,” Zimmer said via e-mail. He noted that the bear had traveled south from “Marshfield to Duxbury to Kingston to Plympton/Carver, then Middleboro, South Wareham and then today in Marion.”
Whenever bears are spotted in Southeastern Massachusetts ”they do not go unseen/unreported for more than a day or two at most,” Zimmer added.
“This one, not unlike the Cape Cod bear back in 2012, has been fairly easy to track.”
Boo Boo’s travels have inspired the Twitter account “@southshorebear,” which chronicles his journey through the area.
A bear was killed Wednesday in Warren on the Massachusetts Turnpike, police said. The bear entered the left lane and was struck by a 2012 Honda Civic. The driver and three passengers were not injured. Two other cars also hit the bear. The drivers weren’t hurt.