COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A homeowner shot a 550-pound bear in Rockrimmon Thursday morning.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the incident happened between 3:30 and 4 a.m. The bear was outside the home, and the homeowner tried to scare it away. When it didn’t leave, the homeowner shot it.
The bear survived the shooting, but was put down because of its injuries. Parks and Wildlife said the bear was between 15 and 20 years old.
GRAPHIC: Click here for photos of the bear that was killed. These photos may be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised.
Lindsay Seaborn was walking her dog when she heard the gunshot.
“I saw the bear kind of fall back a little bit and then he kind of held up one of his legs and kind of limped off,” Seaborn said.
“Although it wasn’t completely dead, one of our wildlife officers went up, looked at it, it was mortally wounded and ended up euthanizing the bear at that point,” said Parks and Wildlife Officer Steve Cooley.
The homeowner isn’t being charged with anything in this case because of self-defense.
“Like any other investigation we look at the facts of the case, not just what the homeowner says, but we’ll also look at where the bear was shot, how it was shot, what the circumstances were, so no we don’t just take one person’s word that they felt scared,” Cooley said.
“I know that it is self-defense, but at the same time bears have to eat too,” Seaborn said.
“We have had bears break in through glass windows, glass doors, wooden doors, garages, so it’s not uncommon for a bear to, particularly a bear that’s been habituated to people and trash, enter a house for a food reward,” Cooley said.
That’s why Parks and Wildlife officers said they need everyone’s help to stop this from happening again.
“We can’t do it all by ourselves. We need the community to step up and take responsibility for getting these bears back to their natural habitats. That means stop feeding them, put your trash away and do what you can, so that we can all enjoy these bears for as long as they can possibly live,” said Parks and Wildlife spokesman Kyle Davidson.
Parks and Wildlife officers said the bear was near the maximum of its lifespan and it probably lived as long as it did because it’s been around humans and food for so long.