Reader: Shooting of a mother bear in Crestone was unjustified & state must be accountable

Our story about the killing of a mother bear in Crestone by a Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer, and the current status of the two cubs she left behind, drew a response from the woman who owns the ranch where the shooting took place.

Here's what she has to say.

Etjohnsonlaw writes:

The mother bear was killed on my ranch. The killing of this mother should never have occurred and the DOW has tried, since that time, to justify their actions. There are now in excess of 30 orphaned bear cubs and the fate of all of these mother bears cannot be adequately explained by the DOW. This is unacceptable. The people of Colorado need to demand accountability from the DOW, who is entrusted to protect OUR wildlife. We need to have zero tolerance for the killing of bears with nursing cubs. Thank you for the story.

-- Elaine Johnson

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LadyRenaissance
LadyRenaissance

Some of you may want to read the original story before making stupid comments.

Nowhere does it say that Ms. Johnson had done anything wrong.  DOW had been tracking the bears after a goat had been killed, allegedly by an aggressive bear that was also trying to get into a person's house.  They tracked a bear onto Ms. Johnson's ranch and then shot the mother bear.  

I live in the mountains.  While I absolutely agree that more people need to be thoughtful and aware in bear country, including taking extreme care with their garbage, I detest the rushing to judgment by those who cannot be bothered getting the facts.  The story did mention that many bears in the Crestone area have been eating from dumpsters.  This is completely unacceptable.    Garbage should be put into bear-proof containers or kept inside until the day the garbage is removed.  Businesses and restaurants that cannot keep the garbage inside need to buy a container that is truly bear-proof.  If their local garbage company does not provide such a container, they can order one from many places in the country.  I know from experience that our locally-provided "bear-proof" containers are anything but - so I therefore do not put garbage outside until immediately before the garbage service arrives.  The community does need to accept some responsibility for what occurred and make certain that they do not give the opportunity for it to occur again. 

At the same time, it appears as though DOW went out of its way to kill a bear, regardless of whether or not it was the right bear.  I wish more effort had been made to tranquilize the mother bear and her cubs and remove them from the area.  I also wish DOW had listened to the community when they insisted that the mother bear was non-aggressive around people.  Yes, DOW does need accountability and a less trigger-happy approach to dealing with potentially dangerous wildlife.  I detest how certain animals are immediately deemed a threat if they simply cross into an area of human habitat.  I frequently get bears on my property, never because of anything I have done but rather because they find my property is the most convenient way to get from point a to point b.  This doesn't make them, or I, a nuisance.

I also appreciate the efforts Ms. Johnston did to make sure the cubs would be cared for.  It sounds as though she did the right thing but is still being lambasted, simply because she lives in a rural mountain area.

Jay
Jay

NO MORE MAMA BEAR KILLING! WE ARE THE 1%!!!!1!!

City Dweller
City Dweller

Ms. Johnson, what was the sow and cubs doing on your "ranch"?Looking for an easy meal?The DOW works hard to balance the needs of residents and wildlife.Those cubs would not be orphaned if people did not choose to live in bear habitat."Accountability" should be demanded of mountain residents, not the DOWthat does a difficult job managing "our" wildlife.

 avman
avman

Hey asshat, the bear and cubs were doing what every animal does...it was moving in search of food and/or shelter.

Eric
Eric

That's a very valid point.

 avman
avman

"That's a very valid point."...gee...you are so thoughtful. The only valid point you would know is the one poking you in the ass.

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