NEDERLAND, Colo. – The Lost Lake area near Nederland is back open after an aggressive bear near campsites was euthanized by CPW officials earlier this month.
The area around Lost Lake was closed to all use on July 8 following 16 reports of an aggressive bear ripping through unoccupied tents, retrieving food that was left unsecured and showing little to no fear of humans, even approaching within 20 feet of people over the past three years, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials.
Wildlife officers were confident the bear was roaming the area alone due to matching descriptions in the more than a dozen reports, the fact that the area has few bears, and also based on video from a 2018 encounter posted to Instagram showing the bear entering an unoccupied tent.
While searching for the bear on July 11, wildlife officers said the animal came into a camping area. He was euthanized not long after. Wildlife officers donated the meat.
“We don't normally manage conflict bears in the backcountry,” said Area Wildlife Manager Jason Duetsch. “If backcountry campers want to prevent something like this from happening again, they should invest in a bear canister to secure their food and scented items so bears do not get rewarded and become conditioned to living off of human food sources. When they do, they become aggressive working to get what they can smell is there, and that is when public safety is at risk.”
The male bear, also known as a boar, was estimated to weigh 200 pounds, be between 4-to-8 years old, was discovered to have birdshot in both hindquarters as well as an injury to the rear left leg that did not allow it to straighten out completely, according to a news release.
“We are grateful for the close coordination with Colorado Parks and Wildlife,” said Boulder District Ranger Angela Gee with the Forest Service. “We hope future campers to the area will continue to be vigilant and will come prepared for camping in bear country.”