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Colorado homeowner cited for feeding wildlife after bear enters home three times

Black bear
Posted at 4:23 PM, May 07, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (KCNC) — An owner of a home in an upscale Colorado Springs neighborhood was cited last week for feeding big game animals after a black bear entered the residence three times within two days.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) personnel trapped and euthanized the bear Friday night, the agency stated in a press release Saturday.

The bruin entered a Broadmoor home through an open door on Sunday. The neighborhood in the southwest Colorado Springs foothills is considered prime bear habitat by CPW staff.

The homeowner found muddy paw prints on the home's floor and closed the door. However, the bear returned and opened the same door. This time the bear walked to the kitchen.

"The bear was reluctant to leave their kitchen," CPW stated. "Only after yelling and banging pots and pans did the bear retreat and leave the home."

The bear returned Monday night and again entered through an open door.

"It's extremely fortunate no one was injured by this bear when it confronted the homeowners in the kitchen," said Tim Kroening, CPW's Area Wildlife Manager for the Pikes Peak region. "This bear had become habituated to people, associating them as a food source. This created a dangerous situation when the bear was confronted in a confined space in the home."

Per CPW policy, any bear that enters a residence must be euthanized.

"Wild bears are naturally afraid of people and avoid them," Kroening stated. "When a bear learns that human homes are a source of food, they become dangerous to people. Imagine encountering a bear in your kitchen. If there is no clear exit available, a tragic confrontation could occur. We can't risk that happening."

Trapping and releasing the bear in a more remote area was not a consideration.

"Colorado has become so densely populated that it is difficult to find a place to take a bear so that it won't encounter human homes," Kroening stated.

The bear weighed between 225 and 250 pounds.

The homeowner was cited for feeding big game and also was warned for luring bears. CPW's Bill Vogrin did not go into detail about how this homeowner was attracting wildlife to the property, but did offer an example: "Feeding big game can be as simple as putting out bird seed in such a way that big game can easily access it."

The agency continues to investigate the incidents.

Under Colorado law, violators who feed big game are subject to a $100 fine. A similar fine exists for persons cited for luring bears, but the fine increases to $2,000 for a third offense.