Bear Killed After Stealing Dog Food, Scratching Woman

Published May 31, 2016
Updated January 18, 2018
Published May 31, 2016
Updated January 18, 2018
Black Bear Killed

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife authorities hunted down and killed a juvenile bear in Colorado last week after he lightly scratched a woman’s arm while trying to grab some dog food.

Last Friday, the bear broke into a kennel and began foraging for dog food. After noticing the commotion, the dogs’ owner entered the fray.

“The homeowner attempted to pull out the dogs, and the bear swiped, causing a minor scratch on her arm,” said CPW wildlife manager Matt Thorpe.

The woman refused to be taken to a hospital, and the light scratch she sustained was treated on the scene.

Wildlife officers, who, as a matter of protocol, euthanize any animal that attacks a human, tracked the bear and shot him shortly after the incident.

“I don’t consider this a true attack, but for public safety we euthanized the bear to get it tested for disease,” he said.

Young bears tend to get in the most trouble with humans since they are still establishing their own territory. This one in particular had been killing chickens and raiding the same couple homes for food. CPW officials had previously tried to trap it with no luck.

“They can get pushed into marginal habitat and are trying to survive,” Thorpe said. “They’re like teenagers who just graduated, trying to find their way in a larger world.”

The incident transpired a day before Cincinnati Zoo officials shot and killed a gorilla after a toddler fell into the animal’s enclosure. The child remained in the gorilla’s grip for ten minutes, though he did not sustain any serious injuries.

While the gorilla’s intentions were uncertain, zoo officials felt the safest course of action would be to kill the it. Thayne Maynard, the zoo’s director, said that tranquilizers don’t always take effect right away and might have further agitated the gorilla.

Despite his explanation, the gorilla’s death has caused widespread outrage.

Next, find out why park rangers had to kill a baby buffalo after human interference just a few weeks ago.

Elisabeth Sherman
Elisabeth Sherman is a writer living in Jersey City, New Jersey.