Colorado

Sep 2, 2010 6:14 PM by Zach Thaxton

DOW: Mama bear, 2 cubs euthanized for entering home

A mama bear and her two cubs were euthanized by Colorado Division of Wildlife officials Thursday afternoon after they entered a Broadmoor-area home, causing a housekeeper to barricade herself in a bedroom for safety.

Housekeeper Denise Burks says she was cleaning the kitchen at around 11:20 Thursday morning in a home on Sanford Drive west of the Broadmoor when the two bear cubs entered the home by sliding open a screen door leading to the back deck of the home.  Soon after, the mother bear entered the home in search of her cubs.  Burks says she quickly retrieved the homeowners' dog and locked herself in a bedroom for safety.  "I could see them walking around as I looked under the door," Burks said.  Burks called 911 from the bedroom.

When Colorado Springs Police arrived, they assisted Burks out of the home and to safety, then opened all doors to the home in an effort to get the bears out.  According to Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Michael Seraphin, police made loud noises in an effort to startle the bears.  The mother bear and her cubs then ran out of the home and up a tree near the home's back deck.

Neighbors say bears have been spotted very frequently in recent days and weeks.  "Last week I had one that was just rolling around, having a good old time in my back yard," said neighbor Carrie Mitchell.  Another neighbor, Kristen Porter, told News First 5 that she saw a mother bear and two cubs playing in a yard down the street earlier this week.  Mitchell thinks she knows why the bears have been seen so frequently.  "There's a lot of people up here that actually are feeding bears so they can see them and watch them," she said.  Seraphin says that's illegal.  "There's an old saying that a fed bear is a dead bear," he said.

The bears were eventually tranquilized and hauled away unconscious to Division of Wildlife offices in Colorado Springs, where they were euthanized.  "These bears, these cubs are old enough, the mother certainly, that they learn these behaviors," Seraphin said.  "And once they learn the behavior of entering into human structures, they cross the line and become what's deemed a dangerous bear.  They are a threat to public safety.  The option to relocate the bears is removed from the scene because of the fact that they most likely will repeat this behavior, no matter where they're moved."

This is the second time this week that a mother bear and two cubs have been euthanized for entering a home in Colorado Springs.  Three bears entered a home on West Woodmen Road on Tuesday and were euthanized.

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