DOW forced to put down injured bear
Steamboat Springs — A two-year-old male bear suffering from “extensive and massive” head injuries was put down Tuesday morning, officials with the Colorado Division of Wildlife said Wednesday.
Area Wildlife Manager Susan Werner said the bear was found sleeping in the crawlspace of a barn in the 28000 block of Valley View Lane. The bear was suffering from head injuries caused by a snare the bear had been caught in, she said.
The bear’s head had nearly been scalped of its muscle and maggots had begun to eat the bear inside jaw and outer skull. The bear’s head was severely infected, Werner said.
The site was very disturbing, she said.
“Even if we could have given him the best medical care in the world, I don’t think he would have made it,” she said.
DOW officers had received calls for several weeks from residents in the area who had seen a bear with barbed wire curled around its head. It likely was the same bear, Werner said.
Werner said it was difficult to say how long the bear had been injured, and whether the snare was set for another animal or a bear.
“Based on his injuries, I think he had been injured for some time,” she said. “I’m guessing he was looking for a cool, dark place to sleep it off, but who knows what was going on in his head.”
The incident is still under investigation because officials do not know if the snare was set illegally, she said. Colorado law allows ranchers and farmers to have one 30-day snare permit a year to handle specific animals that are damaging their livestock or crops. Snares are illegal if the person who set it did not have such a permit, she said.
Anyone with additional information may call the DOW at 870-2197.
To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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