NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4) — A man shot a bear near a campground in Gordon Gulch, which is outside Nederland. It happened Thursday at about 6:45 a.m.
The man told Colorado Parks and Wildlife that he stepped outside his camper and heard his dog barking. He called the dog to come to him and when it did, a bear was chasing after it. The bear continued to come at him and he shot it in self defense when it was approximately 10-15 yards away.
The male bear weighed 260 pounds and CPW says its behavior was unusual.
“Bears are super strong, but super lazy,” said Jason Clay, Public Information Officer for the Northeast Region. Clay said it is uncommon for a bear to chase a barking dog.
“Dogs act as a stressor to a bear, especially a barking one. Typically when they start barking a bear will think it is not worth the effort and run away,” Clay said.
“This bear was not deterred at all when this larger dog was barking at it and was willing to chase it. That is rare, for it to be going after and chasing a dog like that without cubs,” Clay stated.
Deputies told our wildlife officer they’ve had other calls in the area, and so this bear likely had received food rewards from campers and was looking for more.
You can not lawfully shoot a bear to protect pets. Lethal force can only be used to protect “human health and safety” and livestock. But in this case, CPW said it became a human safety issue since the bear came close to the man.
Click here for useful information on keeping safe while camping or hiking in bear country.