Mother bear, cubs put down because of aggression toward hikers near Golden

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GOLDEN, Colo. — A mother bear and her two cubs were euthanized last week because of continued aggression toward two hikers near Golden, charging at them several times and getting as close as one foot away, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said Thursday.

The hikers were on the Enchanted Forest trail about 6:15 p.m. Friday when they were charged by the bear and two cubs.

The hikers told wildlife officials the bears charged at them several times despite trying to discourage them by blowing whistles, running behind a tree and using bear spray.

Despite the tactics, the mother bear continued to charge up to as close as one foot from the hikers, who had two dogs on short leashes.

“It’s a sad day when we have to put down aggressive animals, especially young wildlife,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife northeast regional manager said Mark Leslie said.

“We realize the sensitivity of citizens to young animals being put down and understand the frustration people feel. However, we would not be fulfilling our primary goal of public safety if we allow aggressive wildlife to remain on a popular trail so close to humans.”

Leslie said bears that get comfortable with humans can become territorial and aggressive.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it will perform an administrative review of the incident.

No injuries were reported.