Bear involved in home raid killed by wildlife officers

Bblack bear
Family denies warning
By Joey Bunch
Denver Post Staff Writer
DenverPost.com
 
The bear cub that climbed through a window of a home north of Larkspur on Wednesday evening may have had a history with the family, but the family denies ever getting warnings from the state Division of Wildlife.Three young girls were home when the bear broke in, and they escaped unharmed.An officer said the Collins family was warned last year to keep food out of sniffing distance after a mother bear and two cubs came prowling around.

A wildlife officer Wednesday found melon rinds under a deck, a dirty barbecue grill outside and fast-food scraps in an accessible garbage can, said Tyler Baskfield, a spokesman for the DOW.

The family was not cited.

“I emphatically deny that we’ve ever been warned or spoken to by any wildlife officers concerning bear issues,” the girls’ father, Steve Collins, said late Thursday. “As far as melon rinds, I told them that I had thrown one out. … What pertains to trash or food left over or fast food? I’ve just thrown away papers in that bin.”

The 18-month-old bear, believed to be one of the cubs from last year, was tranquilized then euthanized after Wednesday’s break-in.

Rob Edward, director of carnivore restoration for Sinapu, a Boulder-based animal-advocacy organization, said the family should have been ticketed.

“This is a poster child of what not to do” in bear country, he said.

The DOW had no choice but to kill the cub, Baskfield said. In most cases, frightened bears that wander into contact with humans can be relocated into the backcountry without further problems.

But “the bear was well-aware there were people in the house and went in anyway,” he said. “We can’t have a bear that has lost its fear of people, in the interest of public safety.”

Staff writer Manny Gonzales contributed to this report.

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