‘Trash kills bears’: Bear in Colorado euthanised after intestines clogged by rubbish

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A male black bear in the US state of Colorado that was euthanised earlier in September was subsequently found to have its intestines clogged by rubbish.

On Sept 9, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) received a report of a sick bear in Telluride, Colorado.

As the bear was very sick, CPW officers had no other option but to euthanise the animal that same day, said CPW’s area wildlife manager Rachel Sralla in a statement.

The bear, which was well-known in the town, was unable to digest any food and was starving, wrote the CPW on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sept 13.

A necropsy later revealed that its intestines were fully blocked by wipes, paper towels and other rubbish.

There were also napkins, parts of plastic sacks and wax paper food wrappers that clogged the bear’s intestines, said CPW’s wildlife manager Mark Caddy in an Insider report on Monday.

“This plug was accompanied by french fries, green beans, onions and peanuts,” Mr Caddy said in the report.

In a CNN report on Saturday, CPW spokesperson John Livingston said that the trash prohibited the bear from absorbing proper nutrients.

“When you have a very fat 400 pound (181kg) bear, it will take it ages to starve to death,” Ms Sralla said. “That’s a horrific way to die, decaying from the inside out for that long.”

“We can’t say it enough, so here it is again: Trash kills bears,” wrote CPW on its X account.

Human rubbish disposal is a problem that has been hurting bears in Colorado, said Ms Sralla in the Insider report.

Mr Livingston told CNN that that bears have an incredible sense of smell and can smell things up to 8km away.

“If it smells a trash food source that’s left out, there’s a good chance that, in our Colorado mountain towns, there’s a bear within five miles (8km) that can smell that,” he said.

The CPW called on residents to be responsible when disposing their rubbish.

“No bear should ever be well known to a town for being a trash bear. We can and must do better to keep wildlife wild by securing trash,” it said.

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