SUTHERLIN, Ore. - A driver escaped injury Tuesday morning when his Tesla electric car collided with a black bear on Interstate 5.
The car hit the bear in the slow lane of southbound I-5 near the Cabin Creek rest area near Sutherlin at 5:46 a.m., Oregon State Police said.
The driver was shaken up but not injured, authorities said.
The bear died.
A crew from the Oregon Department of Transportation removed the bear from the interstate shoulder.
Oregon State Police notified the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, which requested a tooth from the bear.
"Any hunter who takes a bear or cougar, or landowner that does due to damage, needs to turn in a tooth which we use to age the bear. This goes into our population model that tracks estimates size of population," Michelle Dennehy with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said. "We also take teeth from roadkilled bear and cougar if possible."
Crashes involving wildlife are not unheard of in Oregon. Cars and trucks have hit deer, elk, bears and even a wolf, hit and killed on Interstate 84 near Idaho back in the year 2000.
Most vehicle-wildlife collisions happen in the fall, but animals are on the move now as temperatures warm up.
Oregon state officials are working to develop new rules by January 1, 2019, to allow drivers to harvest roadkill animals.