If you can remember back to last summer, there was a bear roaming this neck of the woods.

The bear sightings in Rockford weren't quite as wild as they were in 2014 when during that summer, it seemed like someone in town or the surrounding area spotted it wandering around just about every single day.

Photo by Geoff Brooks on Unsplash
Photo by Geoff Brooks on Unsplash

We first reported on a bear coming to Rockford in 2014. We also shared the news of another bear (or the same bear) seen in Galena in 2016.

Did the 2014 bear make a return a few years later? Was that the bear formerly known as "Bruno?"

That's right, last summer's bear was such a rock star, it received its very own nickname.

So is "Bruno" the same bear that made the trek to the Land of Lincoln in 2014, 2016, and 2020?

Photo by Dušan veverkolog on Unsplash
Photo by Dušan veverkolog on Unsplash

After wandering through Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri, throughout the summer of 2020, "Bruno" was tranquilized by conservation officers and relocated to Louisiana.

Unfortunately, that's the state where "Bruno" met his maker. The bear died after injuries suffered via some sort of accident.

Fox 2 Now:

Bruno was euthanized Tuesday because there was no way he could have survived, said Maria Davidson, large carnivore program manager for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Not only were both back legs broken, but they were paralyzed because of spinal injuries, she said: 'He had been dragging himself, literally.'

Looking at the Fox 2 Now news story a bit closer, it sounds like Bruno was a bit of a traveler. They mentioned Bruno would be out and about walking year-round from state to state.

It just makes me think that Bruno could have been that 2014 and 2016 bear. If so, I'm sad to see you go. I miss the hysteria surrounding all those sightings in 2014. Simpler times.

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