COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Bears usually awake from their winter nap and resume their activity in mid-March, but as April winds down some of us wonder if the animas are more active than usual this season.
A male bear, estimated to be 3 or 4 years old, was rescued Thursday from a tree in downtown Colorado Springs.
Colorado Parks & Wildlife officers arrived at the intersection of Colorado and Pikes Peak avenues on the east side of downtown at around 2 p.m., tranquilized the bear, took it away and released it at an unspecified mountain location.
CPW officers rescued the bear and tagged it after a crowd of onlookers gathered nearby, likely making the bear nervous and unwilling to leave the relative safety of the tree.
Unfortunately, because of this incident, the bear will have to be euthanized if it has another occasion of getting too close to people.
In the past few weeks, there have been numerous posts on social media about bear sightings in yards and trash cans in the southwest side neighborhoods of The Broadmoor and Skyway. It's unclear whether people are seeing the same bear or various bears.
Two Broadmoor residents said that a bear somehow unlocked their vehicles and entered them two weeks ago, finding no food and causing no serious damage.
Some social media posts suggest that bears are attracted to trash that is left out overnight, trash that is not in bear-proof containers required on the city's west side (both violations of a new city ordinance) or to food left out for dogs, birds and deer.
City officials said that since the ordinance became effective a year ago, 332 complaints have been filed by West Side neighbors for violating it -- and risking fines of between $100 and $500. However, a city spokeswoman said that the city hasn't fined anyone yet, preferring instead to educate them or remind them about the ordinance.
To avoid bear-human incidents, CPW advises that you avoid leaving trash and food out in the open -- particularly at night and along waterways when bears tend to be more active.
Parks and Wildlife said that the cold, wet late winter and early spring weather haven't reduced bears' natural food sources, and this spring is no more active for bears than it normally is.
"But we started getting complaint calls in January," said CPW spokesman Bill Vogrin. "Bears know there are abundant sources of human food in town. Our area has the second-highest level of bear activity in the state."