CASTLE PINES, Colo. (CBS4) – One man in a Castle Pines neighborhood was stunned to find the body of a bear leaving her two bear cubs orphaned. Those cubs were rescued and are now heading to a rehabilitation facility.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are now investigating.
Joe Oltmann is used to seeing bears around his home.
“Usually they just come and go. They’ve been around the last couple of years.”
When he saw two cubs in his tree Friday morning he didn’t think it was a big deal, but then it dawned on him.
“We recognized that the cubs were a little too young to be by themselves. We were looking for the momma bear and the momma bear wasn’t there,” Oltmann said.
He got on the phone with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. When they arrived they agreed the cubs were too young to be alone and the officer started searching around. That’s when Oltmann made a disturbing discovery.
“I walked down in the ravine and that’s when I saw momma bear behind the tree just behind where the cubs were.”
Momma bear had been killed, and Oltmann’s mind instantly went to Wednesday night.
He says he heard gunshots in his neighborhood.
“I didn’t think anything of it because we have a pretty aggressive coyote population.”
Now he thinks those shots may be the ones that killed the momma bear. CPW says unless it was in self-defense or defense of livestock in imminent danger it could be considered poaching which is a serious crime.
Oltmann doesn’t like that the sow was killed in his neighborhood, and he says he would rather leave wildlife management up to the professionals.
“I think the first thing you should do is probably retreat if you can and call division of wildlife and let them come out and handle it if there’s any sort of external non-imminent danger,” Oltmann said.
CPW thinks there may have been a third cub in the bear family, but they haven’t been able to locate it.
If you have seen it or if you have any info about this incident you are asked to call Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-291-7227.