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Wildlife Officials Want Help In Bear Poaching Case In Snowmass Village

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District Wildlife Manager Kevin Wright talks with CBS4's Jeff Todd (credit: CBS)

District Wildlife Manager Kevin Wright talks with CBS4’s Jeff Todd (credit: CBS)

SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – One of the first poaching cases of the spring has Colorado wildlife officials very worried. They found a bear next to a shed full of dumpsters in Snowmass Village.

Wildlife officials know the bear was shot and they probably know what kind of bullet, but they also say they need the public’s help.

“The bear was just laying here, covered in a tarp and laying right here in front of the dumpster shed,” District Wildlife Manager Kevin Wright said.

Wright got the call first thing Saturday morning.

“Pretty abnormal; most of the time if somebody shoots a bear, or something like that, they don’t wrap it in a tarp and bring it in front of a dumpster shed and leave it,” Wright said.

Wright says evidence shows the bear was shot Friday night.

“Right now it is a poaching case. There is no bear season right now, the bear seasons are in the fall, so someone just shot this bear, wrapped it up and brought it here.”

Bears are such a problem in Pitkin County that is actually why trash sights with dumpster sheds exist. Colorado Parks and Wildlife says they like all the trash at the sites so bears are attracted to one location instead of every house in the neighborhood being a target.

“We’ve seen a couple tracks in and around the village but really no issues; no problems at all here.”

There were signs of a bear trying to break into the dumpster shed, but Wright says the evidence shows the bear dumped there after being killed somewhere else.

“If somebody is having a conflict with a bear, just please give us a call. That’s the best thing to do, just call us.”

Depending on the circumstances, the person responsible could face up to felony charges.

“It all really depends on the circumstances; we just don’t know what happened and why the bear was shot. If somebody had an issue, just tell us, come forward and let us know what happened.”

It isn’t the first bear issue of the spring in the Roaring Fork Valley. Wright said he’s been getting bear calls since March, Just last week the first bear of the year was euthanized in the area after trying to break into a home near Aspen.

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