Bear euthanized after breaking into several vehicles in Glenwood Springs
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials euthanized a bear late Tuesday morning in Glenwood Springs after determining that the animal had broken into several vehicles.
“That bear was unfortunately the first one in this year that had to be euthanized from our office in Glenwood Springs,” said wildlife manager Matt Yamashita, who supervises the Glenwood Springs, Aspen and Vail area for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Yamashita said the bear had been breaking out windows, a behavior that poses a threat to public safety even if the bear were to be relocated.
“When we’re responding to bear injuries, I would much rather take the flack from trying to euthanize a bear rather than having to sit and talk with the family of someone who is in the hospital after being injured by a bear,” Yamashita said.
Since Jan. 1, the Glenwood Springs office has received 118 reports of bear conflicts, which Yamashita said is about average for this time of year.
At the same time in 2020, the office had received 99 bear conflict reports.
“We’d love it if those numbers started going the other direction and downward,” Yamashita said. “The one thing we’re paying close attention to is the drought cycle we’re in. We’re not quite sure what that’s going to equate to and how it plays a role in wildlife management, specifically for bears.”
Conditions, such as drought, hinder bears’ natural food sources, leading to more conflict with humans.
Bear conflicts increase when natural conditions, such as drought, hinder the predator’s natural food sources.
Yamashita said the state continues to work with local municipalities to ramp up ordinances, such as trash placement, to mitigate bear conflicts.
The Glenwood Police Department’s efforts have led to more secure trash containers and less cleanup.
“We’re going to train them,” Yamashita said, referring to the bears.
“It doesn’t start overnight.”
Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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