Bear kills llama near Rifle |

Bear kills llama near Rifle

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” A black bear that killed a llama was “humanely” euthanized last week by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, according to DOW spokesman, Randy Hampton.

The attack occurred about 5 miles southwest of Rifle. The name of the ranch owner or the ranch were not released. Hampton said that these types of attacks happen more often than people know about.

“It’s more common than people realize,” Hampton said. “Agriculture damage by wildlife is a significant issue.”

Especially during calving season, which is typically heavy in the spring months.

Apparently, the bear attacked and killed the llama sometime around Friday, May 9, according to Hampton. The bear then returned to “collect” the llama carcass and that is when the DOW took action.

“The bear approached the landowner and showed no fear toward the human presence,” Hampton said. “They could have shot the bear and dealt with it themselves, but because they had a working relationship with the DOW, they decided to let us take care of it.”

Hampton said the DOW responded to the call and found the llama and determined it was killed by a bear. Afterward, DOW officials placed a trap and waited for the bear to return.

In some cases ranchers and farmers can be reimbursed for loss of livestock if it is used for agriculture purposes, Hampton said, but he did not know if this particular rancher fit into that category or not.

“It depends on what the situation with the llama was,” Hampton said. “If it’s an agriculture situation, the landowner has the option to apply for the game damage, but there are restrictions on those applications, too.”

If the DOW deems the reimbursement request acceptable, the agency will reimburse the market value of the animal to the land owner.

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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