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Attempt to relocate bear and two cubs ends in mama bear’s death outside Colorado Springs

August 10, 2017 Updated: August 12, 2017 at 7:04 am
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photo - FILE - A black bear snacks on berries in North Cheyenne Canon Tuesday, September 4, 2012. After finishing the meal the bear cooled off for a few minutes by laying in the middle of nearby North Cheyenne Creek. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
FILE - A black bear snacks on berries in North Cheyenne Canon Tuesday, September 4, 2012. After finishing the meal the bear cooled off for a few minutes by laying in the middle of nearby North Cheyenne Creek. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

A mother bear died Thursday after Colorado Parks and Wildlife tried to remove her and two young cubs from a residential neighborhood just south of Colorado Springs.

The bears, which reportedly had been rooting through residents' garbage in the Stratmoor Hills neighborhood, would have been moved after being captured, Parks and Wildlife spokesman Bill Vogrin said. When wildlife officers arrived, though, the mother was in a tree and couldn't be removed without being tranquilized, he said.

The tranquilizer didn't take effect immediately, and the mother climbed higher, falling to her death when it knocked her out, Vogrin said. The cubs, which can't survive on their own yet, will be taken to a rehabilitation facility and eventually released.

"What this illustrates is, it's not easy to tranquilize and move wild animals," Vogrin said. "The only easy solution is people securing their trash. Unfortunately, animals die from time to time when we're trying to protect them and people."

Dozens of bears have been killed statewide this year as wildlife officers deal with a surge in the animals seeking food in residential areas. One bear followed a woman's SUV as she pulled into her garage in southwest Colorado Springs in June, trapping her in the vehicle as it looked for something to eat. The bear was killed a month later by wildlife officers after it got into a nearby home, destroyed the kitchen and roamed the house for six hours while the homeowner slept.

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Contact Ellie Mulder: 636-0198

Twitter: @lemarie

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