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Bear plucks chicken from garden on West Third Avenue

Resident suspects bear that killed six chickens in May
A reader submitted this photo of a bear that wandered into her yard in broad daylight on Wednesday and ate one of her chickens.

A bear looking for lunch on Wednesday apparently had a craving for chicken.

According to Durango resident Suzanne Swickard, a black bear wandered into the backyard of her West Third Avenue home in broad daylight around 2 p.m. and ate one of her pet white sultan chickens.

“He plucked it straight out of our backyard,” she said. “And then that (expletive) went up the hill in the shrubbery behind our house for a while and just hung out back there.”

Swickard and her family keep about 10 chickens, which are mostly kept either in a coop in the garage or a generic dog run with a roof.

On Wednesday, Swickard put one of the chickens, named Frieda, in a shaded section of the backyard.

“We have different generations of chickens, and not all of them get along, so we have three different areas we put them,” Swickard said. “I took one out into the garden in the shade, and she was out there less than an hour before the bear got her.”

Swickard said she’s never had issues with bears in the 10 years or so that her family has kept chickens.

In May, a bear killed six chickens that were kept in another coop on West Third Avenue, just down the street from Swickard. She suspects it’s the same bear.

“This one in particular probably got a taste for the neighbor’s chickens, and now we have a problem,” she said.


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