Bear euthanized |

Bear euthanized

A bear that police believe was struck by a car was killed by wildlife officials yesterday near Cemetery Lane.

The bear was spotted in the yard of a home on Sierra Vista Drive, where neighbors said a dog had been harassing it. When animal control officers arrived, they found the animal was unresponsive to the dog’s barks or any attempts to attract its attention.

The bear was breathing with difficulty, according to Rick Magnuson, Aspen animal control officer. Magnuson and Randy Cote, of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, tranquilized the bear in an effort to determine what was causing its strange behavior. They found extensive internal damage and decided to kill the animal later in the day.

Magnuson believes the bear is the same one that was reportedly struck by a car a few nights before on McLain Flats Road. Magnuson said it’s likely the bear wandered around for four days with severe internal injuries until it was found on Sierra Vista Drive.

Animal control officers had already been keeping an eye on the bear – a yearling that had been spotted several times around Aspen. Magnuson says it is likely the bear “learned bad habits” from its mother, and that they had finally “caught up to him.”

The DOW had targeted a pair of yearlings that were getting into trash around town for relocation.

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