Fort Collins man free of criminal charges after killing bear in August

Christina Vessa

A Fort Collins man who shot and killed a bear in his backyard is now free of criminal charges, according to the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

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The bear was shot Aug. 20 by Andrew Richards because it was in a confrontation with his dog. There is no evidence that Richards intended to violate Colorado wildlife statutes, according to a press release from the Larimer County District Attorney.

A similar incident happened in Evergreen, Colorado, when a man shot at two bear cubs Sept. 2 after seeing the bears going through his trash. The man grew concerned after his dog ran outside after the bears, so he fired rubber bullets and hit both cubs, killing one instantly. The other cub was wounded and later euthanized by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers.

Encounters with bears, even in urban settings, are quite common in the winter, according to the press release. Officials are encouraging residents to avoid contact and keep their pets indoors in the case of a bear encounter.

Residents are asked to notify the Colorado Parks and Wildlife or their local law enforcement agency upon a bear encounter. Colorado Parks and Wildlife can be reached at 970-472-4300. For after-hour emergencies, call the Colorado State Patrol at 303-239-4500.

Collegian News Editor Christina Vessa can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @ChrissyVessa.