CASTLE PINES, Colo. – The Castle Pines resident who fatally shot a mother bear last week has been cited for leaving bird feeders outside their home, which likely attracted the bear and her cubs, Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced Wednesday.
The resident shot the bear out of concerns that it was trying to get inside their home. People are allowed to use lethal force against a bear if they feel threatened by the animal, according to state law.
While the resident isn't being charged for the death of the bear, wildlife officials are citing them for not removing the bird feeders after they were already notified by CPW.
The resident shot the bear early Thursday morning, when they saw the bear standing outside of their kitchen window with its paws on the window. The window had been left open and the bear looked like she was about to come inside the house, officials said.
The resident fired a handgun at the bear through the open window, and the bear ran away.
Another resident Castle Pines resident found the bear dead later that morning, at the bottom of a tree about 250 yards from where the shooting happened. The bear's cubs were waiting in the branches above her.
The resident came forward about the shooting on Friday evening, after they got home and found a news vehicle parked on their street. The news team had told the resident they were investigating the shooting of the bear, and the resident then realized they had killed the bear, officials said.
Investigators found three seed bird feeders and a hummingbird feeder within six feet of the resident's kitchen window.
“This is a common problem that we have across the state,” CPW Northeast Region Manager Mark Leslie said in a statement. “People refuse to take down their bird feeders, and find it more convenient to place their trash out the night before rather than wait and place it on the curb only on the morning of pick-up. If there is any good that can come out of this case, it would be that maybe behaviors will change. If it does not, it can and does lead to the unwarranted deaths of our bears.”
The cubs were taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center. The resident paid the fine for the citation and also made a donation to the facility where the cubs are staying.