BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – An “aggressive” bear was removed from Boulder Tuesday and euthanized. It’s the first bear in Boulder County that has been put down this year.
People called to report the bear getting into trash on Oak Avenue in north Boulder. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say the male bear “bluff charged” park rangers and wildlife officers who went to check it out. Officials believe the same bear has bluff charged other people on several previous occasions.
“The bear was in a bad location in the middle of town and wildlife officers did not feel like it was safe to leave that bear due to its location and aggressive behavior,” officials stated.
The bear, which had ear tag No. 352, had previously been relocated out of east Boulder in 2015.
Because of its history and behavior on Tuesday, the bear was tranquilized, removed from the area and later euthanized at a CPW shop.
“We can’t predict what wildlife will do and if we think there is a greater chance a person may be hurt by a bear in town, we err on the side of human safety,” said Area Wildlife Manager Kristin Cannon. “Not everyone is going to agree that this is necessary, but we feel we have a responsibility to make these difficult choices.”
A necropsy showed the bear’s stomach was full of trash and wrappers from food products. Officials say “no normal food forage was found in its stomach.”
“Removing this bear will not solve any of the issues Boulder has with bears and it is still up to its residents to take responsibility for securing garbage, fruit, bee hives, chickens, compost, grills and bird feeders from bears,” Cannon said.
She says there are currently four to six bears foraging around Boulder on a somewhat frequent basis.
“As the fruit is not ripe yet, the most likely and available food source in the city is garbage and other human-related food,” Cannon said. “People can help save these bears by removing any food attractants for these bears in the city.”
CPW said they go to great lengths to avoid having to euthanizing animals.
“Any time a bear is euthanized, it garners a lot of attention and outcry, and rightfully so,” CPW officials stated. “Anytime an animal is lost, we all lose a little bit of the wild that makes Colorado so great. The darkest days for any wildlife officer is when they have to put an animal down.”
CPW released a video showing the lengths wildlife officers go to care for bears — during a relocation effort in Loveland on Monday.
Also Monday night, in Golden, a bear was reported up a tree in the backyard of a homeowner by Tucker Gulch. That is on the fringe of bear country and by the time a wildlife officer spoke to the reporting party, the bear had moved on, so no action took place.
“CPW utilizes many different management actions, and no one scenario is the same. From education, to advise, to site visits, to relocations, to hazing tactics, CPW works diligently to manage wildlife, especially along the Front Range with its dense human population mixed in with wildlife,” officials said.