April bear report: ‘Just bears being bears’
The bears are back in town.
Four bear sightings — two each at Lazy Glen and the Old Snowmass Conoco area — were reported to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office in April.
Altogether, the county received six bear calls in April this year, said Pitkin County Animal Safety Director ReRe Baker.
The other two reports came from the Aspen Business Center and Hunter Creek Road, where a bear was found in an unlocked vehicle, she said.
In April 2015, the county only documented one bear call, which occurred at Lazy Glen on the 17th of the month.
The discrepancy from one year to the next doesn’t necessarily mean more bears are out this year, Baker said.
It’s just a matter of who sees what and who decides to call, she said.
People also report bears to the Aspen Police Department, which received five bear calls in April — three of which took place on or after April 21 — and four in March, according to police records specialist Cathleen Treacy.
Outside of calls to the sheriff and police departments, some local residents say they have spotted bears out and about this spring.
During the first week of April, Centennial resident Aimeeh Folvag said she and her roommates woke up one morning to find that a bear had ripped apart the bag of clothes that they left outside overnight.
Bears also are the culprits of the dumpsters that have been knocked over at least twice in April near Midland and Park avenues.
Aspen Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn said the reports are pretty normal for this time of year.
“Mostly they’re just wondering out and about, looking for things to eat,” he said. “Just bears being bears.”
Linn added that people have gotten better about securing their garbage over the past few years.
Those who still aren’t better about locking their trash disposals face pricey fines.
According to city ordinances, a first offense is $250, a second is $500 and a third costs $999, in addition to a mandatory court appearance.
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