Dealing with bears? Some tips from State Parks

       After becoming aware of some bear “visits” on the Westside, particularly to people's trash cans, the Westside Pioneer sought information from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, a department of the State of Colorado.
       “The biggest issue in conflict situations is the availability of human sources of food - garbage, pet food, livestock food, compost piles, bird feeders, chicken pens, etc.,” a Colorado Parks press release states. “Bears have a phenomenal sense of smell and can pick up odors of food sources from miles away.”
       Most people know they shouldn't feed bears, but also “don't put out food for other wildlife - like birds and small animals - that might attract bears,” the press release adds.
       Unfortunately, if a bear finds a place it likes, it could keep coming back to it. “Much of what people throw away smells like food to a bear,” the release notes. “Standard metal or plastic trash cans will not keep a bear away. Once a bear discovers a food source, it will continue to return, and could defend the source if it feels threatened.”
       To “shoo” a bear away from your home, “make it feel uncomfortable,” the press release continues. Attempt to make it go away “by yelling, whistling, clapping your hands or making other loud noises. However, under no circumstances should you ever approach or corner a bear.”
       Other state tips:
  • Do not leave open trash cans and, if possible, do not put garbage out until the morning of pickup.
  • Don't let fruit rot on the ground; pick when ripe.
  • Keep all ground floor windows and doors closed and locked. Keep garage doors closed.
  • Always lock your vehicle and don't leave odorous food, trash or air fresheners inside.
           For more information or bear-related questions, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website at cpw.state.co.us/bears, or call the local Colorado Parks office at 227-5200.

    Westside Pioneer/press release