Famous 'Falling Bear' Killed On Highway

The life of a meme comes to a close as the famous falling bear was struck by two cars and killed on a highway just two miles from the University of Colorado campus where it was tranquilized.

The bear had been relocated 50 miles from Boulder. Wildlife officials believe that it returned to the area in search of food, lacking natural food sources because of dry weather, reports the Associated Press. The bear, later identified by its ear tag, was first hit by a 1992 Toyota Camry, which was totaled, and a 2002 Ford Focus. Only one driver sustained minor injuries.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Jennifer Churchill told the Boulder Daily Camera, "It's a bummer. It's so hard to go through this and not be able to give these bears a good place to live."

Had it not been for this meme and the bear's viral celebrity, we would have never heard of its death. It is a sad reminder of how human development encroaches on wildlife habitats and how the ridiculous, amazing, meme-worthy beauty of nature is so easily destroyed.