Thu Sep 03 15:00:28 PDT 2015
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This mama bear grieved for hours after her cubs were killed

A grieving mama bear was frozen in place for more than 15 hours following the deaths of her two cubs. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office asked the public to avoid the area of Lupine Drive in Evergreen Tuesday to ease her stress. The bear family was interrupted by a homeowner while going through his trash just after 5 Tuesday morning. The homeowner told sheriff's deputies that he first fired two rubber buckshot rounds from his shotgun to scare them off, but that while he was doing so his dog got out and started chasing the bears. Scared his dog would get hurt, the man told deputies he fired a third round from his shotgun. That round was a live bullet. The bullet hit both cubs, killing one instantly and injuring the other cub so severely it had to be euthanized. After her cubs were shot, the mama bear took refuge in a tree across the street from the home. She finally left around 8:30 p.m., more than 15 hours later. In addition to killing the cubs, the bullet reportedly went through a neighbor's window. The man could face felony charges of illegal discharge of a firearm and misdemeanor charges of hunting out of season. Bear sightings are a reality in Front Range communities, especially at this time of year. For tips on peacefully co-existing with bears, we have a link on the side of this page.

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