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Monday, September 26,2011

Residents encouraged to secure trash and food sources to protect bears

By Boulder Weekly Staff

As the fall season opens and the weather begins to cool, bears are beginning to rummage for food in preparation for their winter hibernation. Local residents can deter bears by securing any trash or food sources on their properties.

Bears are attracted to things such as compost, garbage, bird feeders, food from outdoor grills, pet food left outside and fruit from trees. The city of Boulder recommends that residents store their trash and compost bins in a garage or shed until the morning of collection, or keep their waste in a bear-resistant trash container.

These precautions will also contribute to the safety of the bears themselves. Over the past six years, five bears have been killed in the city because of nuisance behavior or a threat to public safety.

If there is a bear in your backyard be sure to keep your distance. Back away from the bear slowly, and never run. Do not approach a bear or get in between a cub and its mother, and never give food to a bear as it will teach them to approach others for food. Once you are safely away from a bear, try to scare it away by yelling and making loud noises. It is safest for both bears and people to keep them from getting accustomed to your property.

If a bear is threatening human safety, pets or destroying property, call 911. To report past bear sightings and encounters, call 303-441-3004.

For more information, contact Val Matheson, Urban Wildlife Conservation

Coordinator, at 303-441-3004 or mathesonv@bouldercolorado.gov. Residents within the city limits of Boulder also can contact Western Disposal at 303-444-2037 to purchase bear-resistant trash containers.
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