A Weld County family discovered a dead bear on Wednesday morning in a ditch near their feedlot northwest of Greeley, and wildlife officials believe it’s the same bear that spent Monday napping in a tree along U.S. 34.
Liz and Nate Hergert said their grandfather discovered the small bear, apparently hit by a vehicle, next to their farm on Weld County Road 27 north of Colo. 392, about five miles east of Windsor. Nate Hergert said officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife picked up the bear’s body Wednesday morning.
“It’s kind of unusual for me to start off my day by looking in a ditch at a bear,” Hergert said.
Jennifer Churchill, spokeswoman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said officers believe the bear whose body they recovered Wednesday morning is that of the bear that surprised a Johnstown family early Monday morning.
The bear took refuge in a tree along U.S. 34 at Weld 17, a few miles west of Greeley, where he stayed all day Monday before heading south that evening.
Wildlife officials were hopeful the bear was on its way back to its habitat. Churchill said officers were glad they didn’t have to tranquilize, tag and relocate the bear, since they would have to kill it if they were to find it in trouble a second time.
Churchill said the bear whose body was recovered on Wednesday had injuries consistent with being hit by a car.
Bureau Chief Steve Reams, spokesman for the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, said his agency hadn’t received any reports of a vehicle hitting the animal.
Churchill said it’s important for residents to do their part to prevent attracting bears with food sources, and drivers need to be aware that wild animals are everywhere in our state.
“It’s just an unfortunate part of what wildlife have to go through,” she said. “We don’t want them near us for these very reasons.”