Time again to be bear aware

Colorado’s bears have awoken from their winter’s nap and are again active throughout the state. Colorado Parks and Wildlife urges state residents in bear country to make sure they aren’t providing any food attractants around residences.

By following some simple steps, we can all pitch in to avoid conflicts with Colorado’s wildlife. Here are some tips to help keep bears out of trouble and away from your house:

• Keep garbage in a well-secured enclosure.

• Only put out garbage on the morning of pickup.

• Take down all bird feeders – birds don’t need to be fed during the summer. Bird feeders are a major source of bear/human conflicts.

• Attract birds naturally with flowers and water baths.

• Clean garbage cans regularly to keep them odor free.

• If you don’t have secure storage, put items that might become smelly into the freezer until trash day.

• Don’t leave pet food or stock feed outside.

• Never provide food for any wildlife.

• Secure compost piles. Bears are attracted to the scent of rotting food.

• Fully enclose backyard bee hives and chicken coops. Electric fencing is an effective bear deterrent.

• Allow grills to burn for a couple of minutes after cooking to burn off grease and to eliminate odors. Clean grills and grease cup after each use.

• Clean up thoroughly after picnics in the yard or on the deck. Don’t allow food odors to linger.

• If you have fruit trees, pick fruit before it gets too ripe. Don’t allow fruit to rot on the ground.

• Keep garage doors closed.

• Keep the bottom floor windows of your house closed when you’re not at home.

• Do not keep food or used food containers in your vehicle.

• Lock vehicle doors and roll up the windows.

• Talk to your neighbors and kids about being bear aware.

Bears are constantly on the move, so residents are reminded that they only need to file a report with Colorado Parks and Wildlife when an animal is causing problems around your house or neighborhood.

For more information about avoiding conflicts with bears and other wildlife, go to the Living with Wildlife section on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Web site:
http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/LivingWithWildlife/Pages/LivingWith.aspx.

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