Mother Bear Found Dead After Reports Of Gunshots

By Matt Kroschel

SILT, Colo. (CBS4) – After their mother mysteriously died in Eagle County over the weekend, two bear cubs have found a temporary home at a Colorado wildlife rehab center on the Western Slope.

The Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation is located in rural Garfield County. The bear cubs, along with several other cubs, are being taken care of with the hopes of releasing them back into the wild.

“Some of the cubs are sick when they get here,” Nanci Limbach, the foundation founder says. “The last one that I got in was starving and really skinny and really lightweight.”

rehabilitation 1 Mother Bear Found Dead After Reports Of Gunshots

(credit: CBS)

Along with bears, the center takes in all types of wild animals from across the state. Mountain lions, birds of prey and smaller mammals are housed at the totally nonprofit faculty. It is not open to the public but does accept donations.

Seven bear cubs currently at the foundation come from across Colorado.

“It’s not like you’re going to walk in there every day and try to clean her cage or anything like that,” Limbach says. “You want them to be afraid of people so we don’t spend time with them.”

rehabilitation 2 Mother Bear Found Dead After Reports Of Gunshots

(credit: CBS)

Workers at the Western Slope rehab center nurse the animals back to health before hopefully releasing them into the wild.

“In our state right now you can no longer take anything from the wild to keep from captivity,” Limbach says. “It has to be euthanized. Everything is geared toward being released. I’m pretty sure those two will be. I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t.”

A third cub hasn’t yet been rescued by Parks and Wildlife.

Officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife say they are still investigating the death of that mother bear in the Beaver Creek area.

bear Mother Bear Found Dead After Reports Of Gunshots

People reported hearing gunshots before finding the bear on Sunday near the Eagle County community.

State officials say the bear didn’t have any gunshot wounds or signs of being poisoned.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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