The city of Lexington carried out a surprise removal of two controversial Confederate statues from the lawn of the former Fayette County courthouse Tuesday evening and early Wednesday. At about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, police arrived on Main Street and blocked …
When an adorable black bear broke into a post office in a small town in Colorado, they were forced to close the office for the day. But the innocent story had a miserable ending. Instead of removing the bear and bringing it back into the wild, the people who responded to the scene at the Pitkin Post Office on Main Street had another agenda.
They wanted to euthanize it. The reason was not that this bear was dangerous, but because it had too many close encounters with people and was getting too friendly.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Joe Lewandowski said killing this adorable black bear was “just a matter of policy.”
Although the bear hurt no one and was just having a fun time, authorities determined that killing it was the best thing to do.
“No one was hurt, but when a bear gets too familiar in a residential area like that, the danger is just too high,” Lewandowski said.
The black bear had previously been tagged twice by wildlife officials. You can see the tags on the bear’s ears in the photos. The tags indicate instances when wildlife control authorities responded to a scene with the bear. Most likely it occurred when it came into proximity with people.
But in the small town in Colorado, no one thought to lock the door to the post office overnight. This black bear just walked right in through the door.
“But the door only opens in, so it wasn’t able to get out,” Lewandowski said.
Postal employees found the bear on Friday morning. They noticed something was amiss when they couldn’t open the door. The reason was that the bear’s mess had covered the ground and blocked the entrance.
When the postal employees realized that a bear was inside their facility, they alerted the appropriate wildlife officials. They arrived at 2 pm Mountain time and tried to shoot the bear with a dart to sedate it. Shortly after that, they euthanized the bear.
The first time this bear was tagged involved a “food-source conflict” in Buena Vista in May 2017. After that, the bear was transferred to Custer County. The bear traveled west to Pitkin, which is near Gunnison National Forest, an excellent place for a bear to roam wild.
Bears can be euthanized during their first incident with humans.
“You will probably be surprised to learn it only takes one strike, and in some cases, none at all before a bear is euthanized,” Lewandowski wrote with a Facebook Live video that he posted on the subject.
Colorado euthanized 168 bears as part of their Parks and Wildlife program in 2017. 107 other bears were relocated in the same year. That year had unusually high numbers of encounters between people and bears in Colorado. Because national parks need more funding, food supplies in the wild have been slim. This deficit has caused bears to search for other sources of food like garbage cans.
Colorado’s official policy is that euthanization is the last resort. And they claim that this needed to happen for this bear.
Do you think it was the right call in this case? Tell us in the comments below!