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Don't let bears get too comfortable at home, says wildlife officer

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Bruin frequenting Evergreen home euthanized recently

By Sandy Barnes

A bear that had been making visits to an Evergreen home was euthanized recently, said Jennifer Churchill, spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Evergreen firefighters initially rescued the yearling bear from a tree after a wildlife officer had tranquilized it. However, because the bruin had become comfortable foraging at homes, it had to be put down, said Churchill.

While there have been other reports of bear sightings in Evergreen, so far the season has been “pretty typical,” she said.

If a resident sees a bear in the yard, it’s a good idea to chase it off, Churchill advised. Banging pots and pans together and making other noise can be an effective deterrent, she said.

Also, it’s a good idea to keep ground-level windows and doors closed, she added.

There have been incidents of bears breaking into homes. A young bear was able to squeeze through a window that was open a few inches, Churchill said. Bears also have learned how to push open latches that open downward and open sliding glass doors, she added.

“They’re really committed to getting food,” Churchill said. “They’re like walking stomachs.”

Although black bears that frequent Evergreen are generally not aggressive, if cornered in a room with a human, they could become agitated, she said.

Keeping trash cans inaccessible to bears and other wildlife is also essential for discouraging their presence.

With the first crop of berries coming into maturity, Churchill said, she is hopeful the bruins will begin using them as a primary source of food.

Mountain lions also are fairly prevalent in Evergreen because of the elk and deer herds, said Churchill. However, humans are not typically their prey.

“For the most part, lions keep their distance,” she said.

Mountain lions that are starving or aging may attack pets, Churchill added. Earlier this year there were reports of cougars going after dogs in Evergreen, including one who climbed a tree and jumped onto an upstairs deck.

Churchill also cautions residents not to touch fawns that may come into their yards.

“They’re born without a scent,” she explained. “Once you put a scent on a young fawn, they can become prey.”

For more information on living with wildlife, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website at www.wildlife.state.co.us.

 

Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com or call 303-350-1042.