CP&W Puts Down Its First Bear Of The Year
A bear was killed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers on Monday
The bear had gotten into trouble in Steamboat Springs earlier this month. CP&W officers were able to tranquilize the creature and relocate the bear in the Meeker area. He'd been getting into several trash cans and dumpsters around Steamboat. Local police received several reports saying a bear about 2-years-old had been hanging around downtown look for scraps.
After the bear was spotted dragging a bag of trash through town and wandering close to a daycare center officers knew that had to take action. Officers were able to corral the bear into a tree. There were hopes he would leave town on his own but no such luck. Eventually, CP&W officers had to take action and immobilized him with a dart gun. After tagging him, he was released in a rural area northwest of Meeker.
“We wanted to give this bear another opportunity,” says Kris Middledorf, the Steamboat area wildlife manager. Colorado Parks & Wildlife officers try and work with a "nuisance bear" and cut them some slack for a first offense. They mark it with a tag and track its movements. A second offense usually means officers have to take action and perhaps kill the bear if it continues to cause problems.
Unfortunately, this bear’s second strike occurred when he came across a farmer's beehive. He destroyed the hive trying to access the honey inside. Middledorf went on to say, "Parks and Wildlife are liable for agricultural damage caused by big game wildlife and has to prioritize the interests of the farmer over the animal." Given the situation, CP&W had no choice but to put the animal down.
If you've got wild animals living near you, remember to always be responsibe and secure your trash cans, bird feeders, and other attractants including outdoor grills. “It is ultimately the responsibility of our community to coexist with these animals,” says Kris Middledorf.
Credit: Steamboat Pilot