Colorado wildlife officials had to euthanize a 400-pound black bear because its intestines were blocked with human garbage

  • Colorado wildlife officials euthanized a bear with human garbage in its intestines.

  • The bear had a "plug" of paper towels, disinfectant wipes, napkins, plastic, and food wrappers in its belly.

  • Bears conditioned to eat human food have shorter life expectancies, the National Park Service says.

Officials had to euthanize a massive black bear in Colorado Saturday after baby wipes and other human garbage got lodged in its small intestine.

CPW Area Wildlife Manager Rachel Sralla said in a statement that the bear was "very sick," presenting officials with no other option than to put it out of its misery.

"When you have a very fat 400-pound bear, it will take it ages to starve to death," Sralla said. "That's a horrific way to die, decaying from the inside out for that long."

Sralla said human trash disposal is a problem that's hurting bears in Colorado.

CPW District Wildlife Manager Mark Caddy said the bear's intestines were clogged with a "plug" of paper towels, disinfectant wipes, napkins, parts of plastic sacks, and wax paper food wrappers.

"This plug was accompanied by french fries, green beans, onions and peanuts," Caddy said, adding that the bear's intestines were already in the beginning stages of decomposition.

Giving food to bears is a bad idea for several reasons, according to the US National Park Service. Giving human food to bears can cause them to become food-conditioned and return to places occupied by humans, the NPS says.

Food-conditioned bears are more likely to approach people and can be aggressive, unpredictable, and dangerous, according to the NPS.

In August, California wildlife officials caught a massive 500-pound black bear named "Hank the Tank" who had broken into more than a dozen homes in search of food.

Bears who eat mostly human foods are also shown to have shorter life expectancies than those that eat natural foods, the agency says.

The National Park Service recommends storing food in containers that bears can't open, such as bear canisters. When staying in a hotel in an area with bears, the agency says to keep all your food inside your hotel room and make sure to keep all doors and windows locked.

Read the original article on Insider