By Raetta Holdman
DENVER (CBS4)– The past year, 2018, has 2018 brought us a lot of stories of typical bear behavior, meaning lots of car break-ins starting in the spring and running right through the fall. But other animals made news for other reasons, including, yes, the Mama Bear and her two cubs that took up residence near an elementary school in Boulder in the fall. That meant many days inside for the students.
Boulder also had a number of mountain lion sightings with a big cat napping under a deck, another checking into a motel and yet another finding its way into a Boulder home. In that case, the wild cat also killed the family’s pet cat.
Wildfires always take a toll on wildlife. In 2018, we saw the impact when crews on the lines of the 416 Fire near Durango found an injured bear cub. When they didn’t see its mother after a few days, they called Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Those officers tranquilized the bear and discovered she had burns on all four feet. CPW spent the rest of the year caring for the cub. Her paws healed and she gained weight. She should be released in January 2019.
Other human interactions with animals did not go so well. In June, CPW pleaded with people to leave young wildlife alone after someone took four fawns to the office in Colorado Springs. They believed the animals had been abandoned. In fact, CPW says it’s likely the mother was in the area and left the fawns to rest. Those fawns could not be returned to where they were found because they had imprinted on humans.
And a mountain lion cub was left orphaned after people found it, took it home and fed it bratwurst. They had the animal for more the 30 hours before CPW arrived to take custody. At that point, its mother was long gone and the cub was taken to rehab.
As we end the year, there is still a $15,000 reward for information about who poached two goats on the Quandary Peak trail in July. The two young males were found shot, about 40 yards from each other.
CPW also dealt with cases of elk poaching. In one of them, a new K9 officer, Cash, was able not only to find the poached remains of a bull elk but also the poacher who was still in the area.