Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is sending out yet another reminder to be "Bear Aware."

According to a press release from the agency, Northern Colorado's bears are now preparing for hibernation — which means they are extra hungry.

However, current drought conditions are inhibiting the animals' ability to find food in their natural habitats, so there will likely be an increase in bears searching for human-sourced food. 

So far, bear activity has risen significantly in Larimer and Weld Counties (Area 4) during the drought, mainly due to a lack of berry production.

"We have had several bears within the city limits of Fort Collins and have seen an increase in bear conflicts within the subdivisions in the foothills and higher elevations," said Jason Surface, Area 4 Wildlife Manager, in the release. "We are also seeing an increase in bear break-ins at homes within those subdivisions."

Surface believes that trash, hummingbird feeders, and pet food are behind the recurring human-bear conflicts.

Bear activity has also been high in Area 2, which includes southern Larimer County, southwestern Weld County, Broomfield, and Boulder County.

Again, CPW believes that human-sourced food is the culprit.

"Trash, bird seed, beehives, livestock, tents, homes, cabins, and garages have all been targets," said Jason Duetsch, Area 2 Wildlife Manager, in the release. "We have also had two minor attacks in Estes Park over the summer in campgrounds with dog food being the major attractant."

In order to avoid your own personal run-in with a bear, CPW recommends getting rid of bird feeders, securing trash sources, closing garages, and locking your home and car.

If you do see a bear, be sure to haze them so they do not become comfortable around you. And, don't forget to report the citing to CPW so they can relocate the animal safely.

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