Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers euthanized a sow and her two cubs Friday evening, August 25 in response to charging two hikers on a trail in Jefferson County.
A wildlife officer interviewed the two hikers who were on the Enchanted Forest Trail near Golden at around 6:15 p.m. when they were charged by the bear with her two cubs. The hikers reported the bear charging at them several times, as they attempted to discourage her by blowing whistles, running behind a tree and finally spraying bear spray. Throughout the encounter, the bear continued to charge up to one foot from the hikers. They had two dogs with them, both of which were on short leashes.
“It’s a sad day when we have to put down aggressive animals, especially young wildlife,” said Mark Leslie, northeast regional manager. “We realize the sensitivity of citizens to young animals being put down and understand the frustration people feel. However, we would not be fulfilling our primary goal of public safety if we allow aggressive wildlife to remain on a popular trail so close to humans.”
“Managing wildlife in an urban interface like the Denver metro area is more and more challenging every day,” added Leslie. “We have many bears living close to people and bears that get so comfortable with humans that they can become territorial and aggressive. CPW continues to ask the public to help us by not letting bears hang out in their yards, bear-proofing trash and removing attractants, and scaring bears off so they retain a natural and healthy fear of humans.”
To this end, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will conduct a thorough administrative review of the incident, as well as review existing management policies and communication with all parties surrounding the events leading up to the removal of these bears.
To learn more about how to coexist with bears, please visit our website: cpw.state.co.us/bears