Why Have There Been So Many Bears Around Lately?
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like we've had a lot of bears visiting Colorado's neighborhoods lately.
In the month of June alone, bears have wandered through City Park, eaten out of a bird feeder, and photo-bombed a wedding shoot...just to name a few.
So, I decided to talk to Jason Clay, the Public Information Officer for the Northeast Region of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), to get to the bottom of this bear boom.
It turns out that we haven't had an abundance of bears in residential areas this year — we've just become better at spotting them because of technology (like this doorbell camera that captured a bear on video in Drake).
"So many of us have home security cameras, or Ring security cameras, that will detect wildlife that comes through our neighborhoods at other times when we may be asleep or just not have our eyes outside to catch it," said Clay in our "Tuned In to NoCo" interview. "The awareness and the alertness that technology provides allows us to see more of these critters."
Clay stated that a majority of the bears who find their way into towns will naturally make their way back to the mountains. But some, like the bear in City Park, will hang around because they're able to find food in people's garbage or bird feeders.
That is why it is so important to not feed the bears. And, if you do find a hungry bear on your property, it is paramount that you know what to do.
"You don't ever want to run from a bear. You want to stand your ground, and you want to talk to it in a firm voice. You want to make yourself look bigger," said Clay. "Never have a bear where it feels like it's trapped, where there's no escape route. Always give the bear an escape route."
Don't forget to report your bear sightings to CPW, so that the organization can try to mitigate conflicts between the animals and humans.
And, for the record, the above information all relates to black bears. Grizzly bears don't exist in Colorado...for the most part.
To learn more about Colorado's bears, listen to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with Jason Clay below.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Colorado + Why They're Dangerous