Sow, 2 cubs euthanized after charging at hikers near Golden

Posted at 9:04 PM, Aug 31, 2017

DENVER – A bear and her two cubs were euthanized last week after reportedly charging at two hikers on a trail near Golden, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife official said.

The hikers said they were on the Enchanted Forest Trail near Golden on Friday, Aug. 25, when they were charged several times by a bear and her two cubs at around 6:15 p.m.

The hikers told a CPW official they tried to scare the bears away by blowing whistles, running behind a tree and even spraying bear spray, but none of that worked.

“Managing wildlife in an urban interface like the Denver metro area is more and more challenging every day,” said CPW northeast regional manager Mark Leslie, adding the department understands the frustration from Coloradans every time a bear is euthanized. “However, we would not be fulfilling our primary goal of public safety if we allow aggressive wildlife to remain on a popular trail so close to humans,” he said.

Speaking to Denver7, CPW spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said residents are not scaring bears away from their property, and the bears are getting complacent.

She added several people reported seeing the bear and her two cubs, but did nothing to scare them off.

“People see them in their yards… they don’t scare them off. Then the bears think this is their territory,” Churchill told Denver7.  

Because of the incident, the department will conduct a thorough review and examine existent management policies and communication with all parties involved in the euthanizing of the bears.

“CPW continues to ask the public to help us by not letting bears hang out in their yards, bear-proofing trash and removing attractants, and scaring bears off so they retain a natural and healthy fear of humans,” Leslie said.