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Bear put down after biting man outside Larkspur home

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it appears the bear was being fed by humans.
Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

LARKSPUR, Colo. — A bear has been put down after biting a man outside his Larkspur home Friday.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said in a release it received a call at 7:10 a.m. reporting that a man had been bitten on the hand. He was released from the hospital after getting treatment.

Wildlife officers searched the area for the bear, which had returned to the home, and it was euthanized at 9:50 a.m. CPW said it is state policy that the bear be put down because of the nature of the incident and because the bear inflicted injury to a human.

CPW said the circumstances surrounding the bite appear to involve feeding and habituation, or altering the natural behavior and instincts of wildlife. The agency says with habituation, a wild animal loses its natural fear of being around people and learns to associate humans with places where they can go to find food. The circumstances are still under investigation, CPW said. 

“People think they are doing the right thing by feeding wildlife and that it helps them out when in fact that selfish action causes them to lose their wild nature, is harmful to their wellbeing and in some cases causes them to become dangerous,” CPW Northeast Region Manager Mark Leslie said. 

The bear will be transported to CPW's wildlife health lab for necropsy and will be tested for rabies, according to the release. Tri-County Health Department has been notified, CPW said.

“The unlawful feeding of bears and all wildlife is a problem in Larkspur and the greater area and it needs to stop,” Wildlife Officer Sean Dodd said. “This is a prime example of why laws are in place that prohibit those actions, it leads to the habituation of our wildlife and creates a public safety issue.”

>>> The bear pictured above is not the one involved in the incident.

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