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CPW News Release
CPW News Release
Feeding bears is dangerous and illegal; charges filed against Castle Rock resident

Jason Clay
Northeast Region Public Information Officer

Feeding bears is dangerous and illegal; charges filed against Castle Rock resident

Douglas County, Colorado - a large black bear being fed
DENVER - Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds citizens that bears do not need our help getting food. Feeding bears is not only illegal, it also creates a dangerous public safety issue in the communities where it is occurring.

The annual reminder holds true across the entire state, but this one is being issued after egregious incident was discovered by wildlife officers in Douglas County. 

After responding to multiple complaints of Castle Rock residents feeding bears, wildlife officers filed misdemeanor charges against one individual for knowingly luring bears. Violations for feeding bears can result in a fine ranging from $200 to $2,000 dollars, plus mandatory surcharges.

Bears that are habituated can create dangerous situations for local residents. When a bear is deemed dangerous and a potential public safety issue, they are euthanized.

“It is selfish and unethical to feed bears,” said Area Wildlife Manager Matt Martinez. “You are going to end up unintentionally killing those animals and also putting yourself in harm's way. If what you want is a pet or just to connect with an animal, choose a domestic breed that has evolved to live with people.”

Attracting bears to your property by providing food for them causes animals to congregate in one area. This can lead to an increase in human-wildlife conflict. Bears that have been habituated towards people can often end up trying to get into trash, break into garages and even try to get into houses looking for their next meal. This is unfair for the bears because when humans and wildlife have conflict, wildlife loses.

“If you are training bears to stay in your backyard, you are asking for unnecessary conflict,” said District Wildlife Manager Sean Dodd. 

Feeding issues involving bears are a reoccurring problem seen across Castle Rock and Larkspur where wildlife officers have received multiple complaints.

“I find that there are some misconceptions that feeding bears will lead to fewer conflicts with animals,” Dodd said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Feeding bears only attracts more bears, which leads to more conflict in a given area. In the end, feeding bears is selfish and ultimately ends up leading to the bear’s death.”

For more information on living with bears, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website. To report a wildlife violation like this you can call CPW’s Denver office at 303-291-7227, or report it anonymously through Operation Game Thief by calling 1-877-265-6648 or emailing​​.
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CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.
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