NewsCovering Colorado


Bear that entered Teller County home was euthanized by Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Teller County Cubs
Posted at 5:39 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 19:39:35-04

DIVIDE, CO — A bear cub that entered a home in Teller County in late Jan. has been euthanized by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The bear was one of two cubs that were left without its mother in July 2021 when their sow was shot and killed south of Woodland Park in a suspected case of poaching.

The cubs were sent to rehab where they were fed and taught to avoid humans.

In late January, CPW officers built an artificial den on the slopes of Pikes Peak. The bears were tranquilized and hauled to the dens with the hope they'd emerge in the spring as wild bears.

Before the cubs were in the den, CPW wildlife officers placed GPS ear trackers on the cubs to allow CPW to track their movements once they emerged from hibernation.

Data showed one bear roamed over 60 miles around Pike National Forest and reached Tarryall before circling back to the area of its den.

However, its sibling bear entered a Teller County home through an unlocked door in search of food.

“We were fortunate no one was home when the bear entered the home,” said Tim Kroening, Area Wildlife Manager for the Pikes Peak region. “Even better, when the homeowners returned and discovered it in the kitchen, the bear ultimately left on its own.”

CPW officials say the bear left them no other choice.

“Wild bears are naturally afraid of people and avoid them,” Kroening said. “When a bear learns that human homes are a source of food, they become dangerous to people.

Officials also said releasing the bear wasn't an option because there was nowhere to take the cub where they wouldn't encounter another home.

“Colorado has become so densely populated that it is difficult to find a place to take a bear so that it won’t encounter human homes,” Kroening said.

CPW says this year may be hard for bears due to drought conditions and a late spring freeze that wiped out natural food sources.

“In years where there are natural food shortages, we see more human-bear conflicts,” Kroening said. “It is critical that people do their part and stay ‘Bear Aware.’ Please secure your trash, bird feeders, and any other attractants so that bears cannot get to them. Keep your doors and ground level windows closed and locked. Please lock your vehicles up as bears are smart enough to figure out how to get into them if they smell something tasty.”

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