A bear in the Arriola area was euthanized Friday after it scratched a homeowner, reported Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
In a brazen effort to reach dog food, the juvenile bear reportedly entered a kennel occupied by dogs at a residence on County Road 21 about 11 a.m.
“The homeowner attempted to pull out the dogs, and the bear swiped, causing a minor scratch on her arm,” said CPW wildlife manager Matt Thorpe.
The victim refused medical transport, and the wound was treated.
The bear was tracked by wildlife officers and was shot nearby shortly after the incident. Wildlife that injure humans typically are euthanized according to CPW protocol, Thorpe said.
“I don’t consider this a true attack, but for public safety we euthanized the bear to get it tested for disease,” he said.
The commotion probably caused the bear to swipe in an effort to defend its claim on the dog food. The bear appeared healthy, and the state lab reported a low level of concern for disease.
Wildlife officers said they had tried to trap the bear. It had recently killed chickens at another residence and had been hitting the same two or three homes.
Thorpe said juvenile bears tend to get into the most trouble because once they’re on their own they don’t have their own territory yet.
“They can get pushed into marginal habitat and are trying to survive,” he said. “They’re like teenagers who just graduated, trying to find their way in a larger world.”
Bears are awake and active, so be aware of bears, Thorpe said. When working outside in rural areas, consider how your actions might attract wildlife. Keep dog food inside, and recognize that barbecues and bird feeders attract unwanted wildlife.
When bears are too close too homes, make a commotion to dissuade them so they learn to avoid humans.