DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced Tuesday that wildlife officers have filed misdemeanor charges against one individual for allegedly knowingly luring and feeding bears in Castle Rock.
CPW said they had responded to multiple complaints of Castle Rock residents feeding bears before filing the charges against one person. Violations for feeding bears can result in a fine ranging from $200 to $2,000 dollars, plus mandatory surcharges, according to CPW.
CPW reminds Coloradans that bears do not need help getting food. Feeding bears is illegal in Colorado and creates a dangerous public safety issue in the communities where it is occurring, said CPW.
“It is selfish and unethical to feed bears,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Matt Martinez. “You are going to end up unintentionally killing those animals and also putting yourself in harm's way. If what you want is a pet or just to connect with an animal, choose a domestic breed that has evolved to live with people.”
After being fed, bears often congregate in one area, leading to an increase in human-wildlife conflict.
“If you are training bears to stay in your backyard, you are asking for unnecessary conflict,” said CPW District Wildlife Manager Sean Dodd.
CPW said people feeding bears is a recurring problem in Castle Rock and Larkspur.
“I find that there are some misconceptions that feeding bears will lead to fewer conflicts with animals,” said Dodd. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Feeding bears only attracts more bears, which leads to more conflict in a given area. In the end, feeding bears is selfish and ultimately ends up leading to the bear’s death.”
To report a wildlife violation, call CPW’s Denver office at 303-291-7227. To report it anonymously through Operation Game Thief, call 1-877-265-6648 or email email@example.com.
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