If God didn’t want humans to feed bears, He shouldn’t have made them so goddamn cuddly-looking. However, they are still wild animals with sharp teeth and claws, and feeding wildlife is never a great idea—which is why a husband and wife in Castle Rock, Colorado, got slapped with a citation for slipping their area predators a few extra treats.
According to a press release issued by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) yesterday, the unnamed couple was cited after CPW received “multiple complaints” about residents feeding bears. Charges were officially filed in September after officers determined the couple had been feeding their bear friends for more than a year.
CPW reports that this kind of misbehavior can earn you a fine of up to $2,000. Why? Because attracting bears to your property attracts other wild animals to the area, which can, in turn, lead to an increase in “human-wildlife conflict.” While I do relish the image of humans and bears engaged in an epic dance battle, human-wildlife conflict usually refers to bears busting into trash, garages, and even homes in search of a tasty morsel. And, yeah, that can lead to bear attacks.
“It is selfish and unethical to feed bears,” said Area Wildlife Manager Matt Martinez in the release. “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.” Sigh. No good deed goes unpunished.