Group seeks restraining order for bears |

Group seeks restraining order for bears

REDSTONE – A group of Redstone residents plans to seek a restraining order to prevent the Colorado Division of Wildlife from killing any more bears in the area.The unusual action is being taken by angry residents who claim the agency’s credibility is shot because an officer killed a three-legged bear that became a town favorite.The bear was trapped, tranquilized and shot by the district wildlife manager because, the agency said, it was habitually breaking into homes and posing a threat to humans.The residents, led by Cheryl Haddock and Lauren Taylor, claim they were misled by wildlife officers and that complaints against the bear, known as Tripod or Kylie, were trumped up to justify “inhumane” action.”We were really naive, and so are a bunch of people in Aspen, that they don’t want to shoot bears,” Taylor said of the wildlife division officers.She said the residents are preparing to go to civil court to seek an injunction to stop any further killing of bears in the district that stretches from Aspen to Glenwood Springs and includes the Crystal and Fryingpan river valleys.In addition, Haddock wrote a letter Tuesday to Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis asking that his department launch an investigation to determine if wildlife officer Justin Martens, whose district includes Redstone, was guilty of cruelty to animals for shooting Tripod and other bears.Martens is on vacation and couldn’t be reached for comment. Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton insisted Martens did nothing wrong. “The Colorado Division of Wildlife backs 100 percent the actions of Justin Martens,” Hampton said.Wildlife division spokesman Todd Malmsbury said no criminal charges or injunctions have ever been sought against the agency or its game wardens for carrying out duties assigned to it in the Colorado Constitution and state laws. He stressed the agency’s credibility is “excellent” with most people and virtually every local government in the state.Tripod was trapped outside a residence in the Crystal River Park subdivision and killed on Sept. 3. No single incident sparked the decision to kill the bear, Hampton said. It was an accumulation of “break-ins,” he said.”The Colorado Division of Wildlife does not want to kill bears. We do it grudgingly,” Hampton said. “The Colorado Division of Wildlife did not kill that bear. We pulled the trigger. The people in the town of Redstone who did not secure their garbage and other attractants killed that bear.”But the residents who are upset by the incident contend it was an example of overzealous action. Taylor claimed the bear did not violate the wildlife division’s two strikes policy. It was killed without being given a second chance, she said.The group further contends that complaints about Tripod were fabricated to justify its shooting.”People need to know if you call the Division of Wildlife, you’re calling the executioners,” said Haddock.Vail, Colorado

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