Telluride, Colorado – A bear’s tragic, and unnecessary death, is making headlines across the nation. According to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, agency, a sickly bear, displaying clear signs of pain and distress, was discovered in the Telluride area.
According to the agency, the 400-lb bear showed signs of infection and officials determined that the source of the problem was an intestinal blockage caused by ingestion of human trash.
CPW District Wildlife Manager Mark Caddy described the disturbing items found during the bear’s necropsy:
“The removal of the stomach and intestines showed that the bear was starving due to a plug of paper towels, disinfectant wipes, napkins, parts of plastic sacks and wax paper food wrappers in the pylorus.”
Caddy explained that the bear was starving because of the blockage, “This plug was accompanied by french fries, green beans, onions and peanuts. The small and large intestines were empty of matter. The intestines were enlarged due to bacteria in the beginning stages of decomposition, but we opened them up in several locations and found no digested food matter.”
The bear was killed on Sept. 9. CPW Area Wildlife Manager Rachel Sralla explained why the decision was made, “We could not leave a sick bear like this knowing it was suffering and struggling to survive,” Sralla said. “When you have a very fat 400-pound bear, it will take it ages to starve to death. That’s a horrific way to die, decaying from the inside out for that long. As officers, we had to make an unfavorable call. It’s a call we wish we never had to make.”
It is imperative that people adhere to strict wildlife protection laws, including secure trash receptacles, to help spare other animals from suffering and dying.
Sralla said. “Telluride has an ordinance to address bear in trash issues. We need the community to follow that ordinance to be a better neighbor to our bears and prevent this type of incident from happening again.”