The allotted 15 minutes of fame for Boulder, Colorado’s famous “falling bear”, immortalized last week in a famous photograph that quickly blew up the Internet, came to an abrupt end yesterday when it was hit by a car.

From this story in the Longmont Times Call:
The bear famously tranquilized on the University of Colorado campus last week, and immortalized in a viral photo by CU student Andy Duann, met a tragic death early Thursday in the Denver-bound lanes of U.S. 36. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said a 280-pound black bear that died on U.S. 36 after being hit by a car at about 5:40 a.m. Thursday was the same bear that became known worldwide last week after wandering onto the CU campus near the Williams Village dorm complex._

The bear, photographed in a now-famous image by Duann in mid-air falling from a tree after being tranquilized, was picked up by wildlife officials Thursday morning about a half-mile from the Cherryvale bridge southeast of Boulder.

That’s a real bummer. Anyone ever read The Brave Cowboy by Ed Abbey, or see the film adaptation, with Kirk Douglas entitled Lonely Are the Brave? It’s about a freedom-loving cowboy who refuses to adapt to modern society, and as a result is hounded and pursued by authorities. The cowboy, Jack Burns, escapes free and clear, only to to run over by a semi hauling toilets as he rides his horse across a highway. I guess this bear was an ursine Jack Burns.