A bear dead in the front yard of a Colorado home is posing an unsolved mystery today. No one knows who killed the 400-pound bear, and no one knows why they did it. The bear was a frequent visitor to the area, but it never caused any problems, according to locals. Officials are offering a reward in the amount of $500 to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest and conviction in the strange case of the dead bear in a front yard.
Here’s what happened, according to U.S. News & World Report on July 12, 2015. The 400-pound bear was found dead in a front yard on Friday. Now, residents of Cheyenne Mountain Estates, a Colorado Springs community, are upset. Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the person responsible for the incident could face a fine of $20,000. As for neighbors, they considered the animal a part of their lives.
The dead bear was discovered in Alice Tinder’s front yard on July 10, 2015. Tinder’s son was the first to spot the carcass lying just 10 feet from the road. KKTV spoke to several residents in the area about the incident, and the locals were not pleased. Tinder’s neighbor lamented the loss of the animal, noting that people who live in the area expect to see wild animals.
“It’s really disappointing because he was such a part of our lives up here,” Nick Bonck said. “That’s the reason you live up here on the mountain…to live around the animals. For somebody to take a shot at him like that, it’s disheartening that somebody would do that.”
The $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who killed the dead bear in the front yard is being offered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. CPW has a program called Operation Game Thief, which pays rewards to citizens who turn in poachers. According to the CPW, “Callers [to the Operation Game Thief hotline] do not have to reveal their names or testify in court. A reward of $500 is offered for information on cases involving big game or endangered species, while $250 is offered for information on turkey and $100 for fishing and small game cases.” The reward fund is made possible by private donations.
As you can see from the video at the top of the page, not all bear encounters are created equal. Although the dead bear in a front yard in Colorado wasn’t bothering anyone, many bears that wander into residential areas could be considered a nuisance. Colorado Parks & Wildlife has helpful information on its website about living with bears, noting “Every time we’re forced to destroy a bear, it’s not just the bear that loses. We all lose a little piece of the wildness that makes Colorado so special.”