A bear that ate garbage was euthanized in Colorado. Paper and plastic waste clogged the animal’s digestive tract, dooming it to a slow death by starvation. The male was so sick that the state wildlife service decided to end his suffering.
On Saturday, employees of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the conservation agency in the US state of Colorado, received a report of a sick black bear. The animal was wandering along a riverside trail near Telluride.
The bear was reluctant to move, and when he walked, he slouched severely. He had a fever, swollen eyes and discharge from his mouth, it was reported in a statement on Wednesday.
“We couldn’t leave him seeing him suffer.”
“The bear couldn’t digest its food and was very sick,” said Rachel Sralla, CPW officer in charge of the Telluride area. “We couldn’t leave him when we saw him suffering,” she said.
As Sralla said, in the case of such a large, almost 200-kilogram bear, natural death from starvation would last a very long time – the animal would “decompose from the inside” while alive. To spare him suffering, the decision was made to put him to sleep.
The bear’s autopsy revealed that its stomach was clogged with a lot of paper and plastic waste – towels, disinfectant wipes, napkins and plastic bags. The animal devoured them while rummaging through garbage cans – the garbage was accompanied by undigested remains of french fries, green beans and peanuts.
The state agency posted a photo on social media of tissues removed from the bear’s stomach.
Appeal to residents
As it turned out, the male was well known to Telluride residents. In the past, it has been chased away from public places, and in the summer it probably broke into one of the houses in search of food. Sralla appealed to residents and tourists to carefully close waste containers, which are a tempting target for animals.
– In Telluride, the issue of bears rummaging through garbage cans is regulated by law. The community needs to pay attention to this so we can be better neighbors for our bears, she said.
Main photo source: Karla Ferro/Shutterstock