At least eight bears killed in Colorado in just over a week
At least eight bears were killed in Colorado in just over a week, keeping Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials busy as more bears come in contact with humans.
On Tuesday, a bear was tracked with dogs and killed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers after it came within a few feet of two children playing near Vallecito Lake. The two boys and their mother were able to make it safely into a house, The Durango Herald reported.
Wildlife officials say a bear was killed Friday when a Durango landowner shot it after it killed some chickens.
On Monday, wildlife officials believe they killed the bear that bit a camp staffer and tried to drag him out of his sleeping bag. The teen staffer at a Colorado camp fought off a bear after he woke up around 4 a.m. Sunday to a “crunching sound” with his head inside the mouth of the bear, which was trying to pull him out of his sleeping bag as he slept outside at Glacier View Ranch 48 miles northwest of Denver, Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said. The staffer was treated briefly at a hospital and released.
On July 5, four bears were killed in separate incidents in Vallecito, Pagosa Springs and Cortez, the Durango Herald reported. Homeowners killed two after bears entered their homes, and wildlife services killed two because they killed livestock.
“This is my fifth summer down here, and this is by far the largest call volume and number of incidents we’ve had,” said Matt Thorpe, wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
In Colorado Springs, a bear that broke in to a home July 4 and tore through the place looking for food as the owner slept upstairs was killed by wildlife officers.
The bear spent six hours trashing the kitchen. Surveillance video showed the bear standing on its hind legs and opening the refrigerator door with ease. An officer shot the animal after it left the property then charged back toward it.
Bryan Peterson of Bear Smart Durango said this year is the busiest bear season since the natural-food failure year of 2012. He said that although rain may help, a late frost in June is likely to take a toll on late summer acorns, an important staple to a bear’s diet.
Ranger Kurtis Tesch said Parks and Wildlife has been receiving about 10 calls each day on bear activity. Police Records Specialist Cathleen Treacy says Aspen police have gotten 31 bear calls just this month.