by Kizzen Laki

According to Steve McDowell, a mama bear with 2 cubs was shot by Ron Rivale, Division of Wildlife officer during the night of August 27/28. Steve McDowell reports that Rivale called him at 2:30am on August 28 to get permission to go onto his property just south of Crestone to capture the two young cubs. The bear had been shot on McDowell’s property without prior notice or permission. Around 11pm On August 26 a woman reported to the Sheriff that a couple of bears had attacked and killed her goat in the town of Crestone where she was living. She said there were several bears involved in the attack, one large and one small, possibly a cub. McDowell says there was no clear evidence that it was the mama bear with her two cubs. He states that he’s counted 5 bears in Crestone and that there was another bear not ten feet away in a tree where the mama bear was killed. There is another smaller bear in town that may have been with a larger bear who could have been the ones who killed the goat.

McDowell says that the mama with cubs had been on his property that night and he doesn’t believe that she and the baby cubs were involved in the goat attack. He says he had recently talked with the wildlife officer who said that any troublesome bears would first be captured and tagged and not immediately killed unless they had attacked a human. The mama bear had not been tagged.

This is a very unfortunate situation as now the orphaned cubs may not survive, and the goat-killing bear may still alive and roaming. The woman who owned the goat says that it was outdoors on a line, not penned or in a shed. People are urged to please follow “bear aware” rules. Any small livestock must be kept in a secure barn or shed at night. Trash should not be left outside. The result of not doing so is having both livestock and bears being unnecessarily killed.

The Division of Wildlife area manager Rick Basgoitia stated that he made the decision to have the bear killed based upon information given by his local officer Ron Rivale. Adding that he didn’t think the mother could have been relocated. He said that the cubs will be taken to a rehabilitation center.