DOW: Killing bear may have saved sleeping children

May 24, 2010

The man who shot a young bear in his Green Mountain Falls home Saturday prevented a possible tragedy by killing the bear before it climbed the stairs to a room of sleeping children, the Colorado Division of Wildlife said Monday.

Christopher Pease killed the 18-month-old bear around 2 a.m. after the bear broke through a window and entered the house. Pease tried to shoo the bear out, but fired two shots when the bear started up the stairs to a loft area where Pease’s young daughter was hosting a sleep-over, said Michael Seraphin, Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman.

Initial reports that the bear was a cub angered some who thought that shooting it was unnecessary.

Seraphin said that the bear was nearly full grown, just weeks away from leaving its mother, and was a real threat inside Pease’s home.

“Absolutely (shooting the bear) was the right thing to do,” Seraphin said. “If you’ve got a bear in your house, you’ve got to protect yourself.”

Green Mountain Falls resident Cristy Heise was among those upset by the initial report of the shooting, but changed her mind when she learned of the bear’s size and children at risk.

“I would have got my shotgun down too,” she said. “I had daughters. I’ve been there.”

Saturday’s incident was unusual because the house featured nothing that normally attracts bears, such as bird feeders or unsecured trash, Seraphin said.

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