A 74-year-old Colorado woman that had been warned repeatedly not to feed bears was killed by one. The circumstances surrounding the attack are not known, but there was clear evidence of mauling. Wildlife officers had received numerous complaints for at least a decade that the woman was habitually feeding bears. She was warned several times but never ticketed because of difficulty gathering solid evidence of the illegal activity. Wildlife officers and sheriff’s deputies killed two bears after the attack. It was reported that a necropsy of the larger 394 lbs animal showed that it appeared to have been feeding on a human, but this has not been officially confirmed yet.
As we’ve discussed before, people often feed wildlife thinking they are helping the animals, but the opposite is true. Numerous problems are caused by feeding wildlife, including making animals dependent on people for survival, decreasing animals’ fear of humans, encouraging animal encroachment into urban areas and generally increasing the chance for both human and animal injury and infection.