CPW offers reward for information on Woodland Park bear that was killed, orphaning two cubs

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The orphaned bear cubs are seen eating apples at the nonprofit Wet Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation facility in Wetmore where Tom and Cec Sanders are restoring their natural fear of humans while preparing them for winter hibernation and release into the wild. Photo is courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Tom and Cec Sanders

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. — Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is asking the public for to identify the person who shot and killed a bear a few weeks ago in Woodland Park.

On July 26, CPW officers responded to a report of a dead sow with two cubs in the Ranch Estates neighborhood on the south end of Woodland Park. 

When officers arrived, they secured the cubs, which had climbed a tree, so they could be taken to a rehabilitation facility.

CPW then launched an investigation into the sow’s death. An examination of the sow’s carcass revealed it had been shot. Additional details are not being released due to the ongoing investigation.

A lack of leads in the case has prompted CPW to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot the sow.

“This is poaching and it’s illegal and we want to catch the person who did this,” said Corey Adler, a CPW district wildlife manager working the case. “But we need the public’s help.”

Adler said anyone illegally injuring or killing wildlife could face misdemeanor charges including harassment of wildlife, hunting big game without a license, illegal taking of wildlife and reckless endangerment among other charges.

Convictions could result in fines ranging from $750 to $3,000 and up to 6 months in jail, depending on the charge, Adler said.

He encouraged anyone with information about the incident to contact CPW at its Southeast Regional office at 719-227-5200. 

To provide information anonymously about a wildlife violation, the public can contact Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648, by dialing #OGT from a Verizon cellphone, or by email at game.thief@state.co.us. Rewards are available if the information leads to an arrest or citation.

Visit the CPW website for more information about Operation Game Thief.

“Colorado Parks and Wildlife takes these situations very seriously,” said Cody Wigner, Area Wildlife Manager for the Pikes Peak region. “Someone made a decision to kill this animal, orphaning her two cubs. We need to find this person.”

The cubs were taken to the Wet Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation facility in Wetmore. The licensed and trained staff working to teach the cubs the skills they need to survive and to restore their natural fear of humans. Once old enough, they will be released back into the wild.

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