Wildlife Officials Searching For Bear Poacher

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Residents at the Cheyenne Mountain Estates tell 11 News they're horrified after someone shot and killed a bear in the middle of their neighborhood.

Wildlife officials are now searching for the suspect, who if caught faces charges of poaching.

Several neighbors tell 11 News the bear came around this area a lot and never bothered anyone. The 400-pound bear was found dead early Friday morning.

"I looked outside and it was laying right out there, 10 feet from the road," said Alice Tinder.

The bear was laying in Tinder's front yard. Her son spotted it Friday morning and told her to call police.

"We see him here all the time," said Tinder. "They don't really hurt anybody."

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says it was shot late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Nick Bonck lives across the street and says he's seen the bear hundreds of times.

"It's really disappointing because he was such a part of our lives up here," said Bonck. "That's the reason you live up here on the mountain...to live around the animals. "

The horrible act left this community in shock.

"For somebody to take a shot at him like that, it's disheartening that somebody would do that," said Bonck.

"That's terrible," said Tinder. "I think that's terrible."

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says anyone with information that leads to the conviction of the poacher may get up to a $500 reward. According to their website, it's considered a felony, which carries a fine up to $20,000.

“It wasn’t hurting anybody," Tinder added.

Cheyenne Mountain Estates is located on Highway 115 just outside the Colorado Springs city limits.

If you have any information, you can contact the Operation Game Thief for CPW at 1-877-265-6648 or you can email game.thief@state.co.us.