NewsCovering Colorado


Stay bear aware: Bear gets euthanized after charging two boys

Posted at 5:05 PM, Oct 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-06 21:07:30-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — On the evening of Wednesday, October 4, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers responded to a call for help initially described as a bear attack.

The attack involved two boys, aged 12 and 13, in a heavily wooded open space in Colorado Springs.

Officers responded around 5:30 p.m. to find an aggressive sow that had charged twice at the boys, causing one to run into a tree branch. The boy who ran into the branch suffered a minor injury.

CPW officers and officers from the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD), immediately began to search the open space for the sow. The bear was estimated to be 150 pounds and accompanied by her two cubs, each estimated to be 50 pounds.

Officers quickly found the sow, who soon became aggressive, a CPW officer then euthanized the bear.

The team then began an hours-long search through the heavy brush for the cubs.

The officers' goal was to capture the cubs and release them in a more suitable bear habitat. At their age and weight, they would likely survive on their own.

Officers placed a trap above the spot where the bears were first encountered.

Meanwhile, CSPD brought in a drone to search for the bears' heat signatures. The cubs were finally located and scared up a tree so they could be tranquilized.

CPW officers darted each cub with a tranquilizing drug, causing them to fall out of the tree. Officers then took them to the CPW Southeast Region Office, where they were tagged for release and given a drug to reverse the tranquilizer. One of the cubs was unable to be revived.

The surviving cub was released Friday morning in a remote mountain location.

According to Tim Kroening, CPW wildlife manager for the Pikes Peak area, “This was an unfortunate situation where a sow had become dangerously aggressive toward people instead of being scared of humans. There was no choice but to put it down after it repeatedly charged people. And the death of the cub was a sad reminder of why CPW is reluctant to tranquilize wildlife. There are many risks involved when tranquilizing wildlife.”

For more information about how to stay "bear aware", check out CPW's useful guide here.

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