KCR Rangers and CPW Stepping Up Efforts to Keep Residents and Bears Safe
The KCRMA Rangers, in conjunction with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), will be ramping up efforts help educate homeowners to the dangers of potential bear conflicts due to residents not abiding by recommendations, rules and regulations to help keep the community and area wildlife safe.
Reports of bears entering open garages and rummaging through trash put out the evening prior to scheduled pick-ups has been encouraging bears to search for food within our neighborhoods. Bears are getting into freezers and destroying trash receptacles in search of food sources. This increases the likelihood of bear attacks, damage to property and harm to wildlife.
As a result, CPW and our own ranger staff will now conduct drive-throughs around the neighborhoods on several evenings and make note of any trash put out the night before and/or not secured properly, in addition to noting any open garage doors. CPW will contact that homeowner directly to address this issue.
KCRMA Rangers will also be conducting separate drive-throughs and will report any of the aforementioned issues directly to CPW for immediate follow-up. They will also be placing ‘bear door hangers’ at surrounding houses as reports come in regarding a bear directly locating a food source, trash cans and open garages at a property.
According to District Wildlife Manager Jerrie McKee, CPW will also be placing educational materials on the Nextdoor app and will consider listing neighborhoods or streets where issues have occurred to drive home the importance of taking the steps necessary to keep residents and bears safe.
As an added safety measure, KCRMA Ranger staff will also place ‘Bear Aware’ information in the open space kiosks.
Bear Necessities to Avoid Conflicts
Bears are now in hyperphagia, the period when bruins are preparing for hibernation and will spend up to 20 hours a day on the hunt for 20,000 or more daily calories. If attractions are not removed, bears will continue to linger in your neighborhood. Removing these attractants, and hazing bears when you see them, can help encourage bears to move out of your neighborhood on their own, reduce conflicts and keep you and the bears safe.
Here are helpful tips to prevent conflicts:
– Trash must be secured and locked up at all times. Only put trash curbside on the mornings of collection.
– All birdfeeders (seed, suet and hummingbird) must be removed until Thanksgiving.
– Close all garage doors, especially at night.
– Remove food, and any other scented items, from vehicles and lock the doors at night.
– Feed pets inside.
– Fruit trees attract bears; clean yards daily of fallen fruit and pick ripened fruit immediately.
– If you see a bear in your yard, haze it. Activate the car alarm, honk your horn, yell from a window, use an airhorn, etc.
Teach your children to be SMART if they have a close encounter with a bear:
S – Stop. Do not run!
M – Make yourself look big
A – Announce your presence in an authoritative voice “Leave me Alone!”
R– Retreat by backing away slowly
T– Tell an adult about the encounter Encourage your neighbors to do the same!
Thank you for your assistance in keeping Colorado’s bears wild and alive! Learn more about living in bear country: https://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/LivingwithWildlifeWildBears.aspx or contact the CPW office at 303-291-7227.