COLORADO (KRDO) -- Colorado Parks and Wildlife are reminding residents to protect bears and themselves by being Bear Aware.
According to CPW, black bears in Colorado are entering hyperphagia. During this process, bears will eat and drink nearly nonstop, roughly consuming more than 20,000 calories to fatten up for winter.
During this process, CPW says Coloradans may see more bear activity in urban areas.
Within the last two weeks, CPW officers were forced to euthanize two bears in Steamboat Springs.
On September 14, a medium-sized black bear with brown fur entered a Steamboat Springs home through an unlocked sliding glass door and began eating from the refrigerator. Wildlife officers believe that bear had ripped out the front screen of the house a previous day and had gotten into another home in the neighborhood. Because that bear had become habituated to human foods and became a threat to humans, officers were forced to euthanize the animal.
On September 7, a bear was put down after gaining entry to food through an unlocked garage in Steamboat Springs.
“It’s important to be diligent this time of year and secure any attractants you might have around your home,” said CPW Public Information Officer Travis Duncan, “especially in areas where there is known bear activity.”
In addition to those bears, CPW has relocated several others from urban areas throughout the Front Range. Thursday, CPW caught a bear in a Castle Rock backyard and released it back into the wild.
Typically we would not relocate a bear out of that area of Castle Rock. Castle Rock is in bear habitat, but because it was in this backyard for over 24 hours wildlife officers decided to go hands on to ensure the bear was healthy & out of safety precautions. pic.twitter.com/MlKxWQucJc— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) September 16, 2021
CPW asks Coloradans to make an effort to protect bears by being Bear Aware. CPW officials say, "every time we’re forced to destroy a bear, it’s not just the bear that loses. We all lose a little piece of the wildness that makes Colorado so special."
Statewide, there are more than 220 volunteers dedicated to helping Coloradans coexist with bears. To find a Bear Aware volunteer in your area or to volunteer, call your local CPW office.
For more information on how to be Bear Aware, click here.