An early bear warning |

An early bear warning

Dear Editor:

Last year in town, I saw a mama bear and cub in a tree. Wildlife officials tagged the bears in the ear, and if those two bears ever cause another problem they will kill them. I would like people to lock up their trash cans as summer comes along, so bears have no way to get into the trash for food, and we don’t have to kill them. I know many bears are killed each summer, spring and fall, and hope the community can be considerate and help the bears so we don’t have to kill them when they’re just hungry and begin to cause a problem.

As we know, bears were here before humans and may have found lovely berries where a house now sits. When a bear comes trotting down the mountain and finds a house on its source of berries, and it’s hungry, he/she might look for other food. A bear might rummage through trash to get enough food for the winter before hibernation. Momma bears also train their cubs to eat from town trash receptacles when they can’t find berries. If you were hungry and had no place to get food, perhaps you would steal to eat, as do the bears. As a result, people should be more aware, and make it hard for a bear to get food.

As many as 59 bears have been killed in Colorado by wildlife officials because of drought and spring freeze. Last year, two bears got into my neighbor’s house during a spring freeze. If there is food available, bears won’t hibernate because they think they still are hungry and will keep eating until it gets cold. Black bear populations manage themselves based on the resources available to them. If the bears have no available food, they might go into hibernation in their dens and not cause a nuisance. We should make food unavailable for the bears and we will end up killing less of them. In Colorado, 55 bears were killed in 2002 because of human trash availability.

In conclusion, we won’t have to continue killing if we start thinking about and preparing to lock up our trash cans during the winter seasons. Thank you for taking time to read my letter. I hope this will change ideas about bears, and trash cans will be locked up so we can stop killing bears.

Elli Beasley

Snowmass Village


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