Colorado Parks and Wildlife euthanized three bears Saturday after one of them destroyed a car in the Durango Hills subdivision.
Joe Lewandowski, Parks and Wildlife spokesman, said a sow and two yearlings had been causing extensive damage to homes and cars over the last few weeks. Residents said bears were breaking windows on houses, tearing doors off garages and breaking into cars. An agency wildlife manager set a trap about a week ago.
“The district wildlife manager said it was the worse bit of destruction by bears he’s ever seen,” Lewandowski said Monday.
After one of the bears broke into a car Saturday, the agency had “no choice” but to shoot the three bears because they would have continued to create problems.
“These bears had broken into numerous structures and were definitely posing a threat to people and property up there,” Lewandowski said. “In this case, we can’t relocate them because they are habituated to humans and food, so they end up back in the same places.”
No human injuries had been reported, he added.
Lewandowski said the numerous bird feeders, garbage and other attractants in the subdivision contributed to the problem. “Bears have a tremendous sense of smell,” he said.
The car, a 2005 Honda Element, that was destroyed Saturday belonged to Durango Hills resident Erica Feablom.
Lewandowski said Colorado Parks and Wildlife has euthanized five bears in La Plata, Archuleta and Montezuma counties so far this year. The last time they shot and killed a bear in Durango was last summer, when a bear bit two men who were camping near the Durango Tech Center.