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Three home-raiding bears destroyed

By Robin Kepple
Editor, The Flume
Park County, Colorado's News Source

September 1, 2000

LAKE GEORGE, Colo. - A mother black bear and her two cubs had to be destroyed after breaking into a Lake George home on Aug. 24.
District Wildlife Manager Mark Lamb said the mother bear had a yellow ear tag, meaning she had had previous conflicts with humans and had "been in trouble before," he said. He said in recent weeks DOW officials had tried to deter the mother bear from other homes using scare tactics such as rubber bullets and pepper spray, but the warnings went unheeded and the bears were ultimately destroyed.

At about 12:30 that night, the man awoke to "two sets of eyes looking at him.

The homeowner, whose name was not released, shot the mother and one cub in his house, and DOW officials later shot the other cub when it would not leave the area.

"We don't like shooting bears. We don't want to shoot bears," said Lamb. "And, boy have I been getting the nasty calls."
However, Lamb said the decision was made to shoot the second cub since it posed an on-going risk to people because it would continue to enter homes in its search for food.

"The cub only knows what its mother showed it," Lamb said. "Black bears do not unlearn these traits easily."

Lamb called it a no-win situation. "If the bear hurts someone in the future, they'll ask why we didn't put it down when we had a chance," he said. "But other people call and ask why we didn't give it a chance."

The shootings occurred Thursday evening when the homeowner returned home and discovered his garage door, which is split into two sections and swings out on hinges, torn open and the hasp destroyed. Inside the garage, a refrigerator was "completely ransacked," Lamb said. "It had bear paw prints all over it."

The homeowner, who had his three-year-old son with him, cleaned up the trash and food scraps and placed them in a trash barrel in the back of a small trailer in the yard.

"It was pretty much spotless," Lamb said. "This guy was cleaner than most." The man and his son then went to bed.

At about 12:30 that night, the man awoke to "two sets of eyes looking at him," Lamb said. The mother and one cub had again entered the house through the garage and made their way to his bedroom. He got around the bears and grabbed his shotgun. The bears returned to the garage, with the homeowner following. Lamb said when the sow turned to face the man, the homeowner shot her, and then shot one of the cubs. He let the other cub run out the garage door.

He then secured the garage door with cinder blocks the best he could and tried to go back to bed. Two hours later he awoke to find the other cub in his bedroom. He chased the bear out with a broom and the shotgun.

Later, when authorities arrived at the house, the cub was up a tree near the house. However, within minutes the bear climbed down the tree and was wandering around the area, obviously unafraid.

"This was not a good thing," Lamb said. He called his supervisor and it was determined that the cub had to be destroyed.

Lamb said he can't educate residents enough in removing bird feeders, cleaning up trash and bringing in barbecue grills, things that attract bears to homes in their never-ending search for food. Lamb hopes mountain-area residents heed his warnings and do their best to keep their properties clean of trash and other attractants to prevent the deaths of more bears.

"Shooting bears is not a lot of fun. It stinks," Lamb said.

NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed, without profit, for research or educational purposes. We do our best, as well, to give credit to the original news source who published these Guns Save Lives stories out of respect and appreciation for their willingness to spread the word that Guns Save Lives. God Bless the Americans that publish these stories - for assisting Americans in hearing the truth.

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After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. William Burroughs, 1992

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