Bear advice from APD | AspenTimes.com

Bear advice from APD

Dear Editor:

The Aspen Police Department extends its sincere thanks to the community, residents, visitors and businesses for their continued cooperation and support during the 2009 bear season. Despite all of the community’s efforts, Aspen will likely see an increase in bear activity over the next several weeks until bear hibernation.

Unfortunately DOW has observed a “food failure” in the natural bear food sources this season. The estimated 80 to 120 bears that live in and around Aspen have been forced to find other food options. As hibernation approaches, bears will increase their caloric intake to 20,000 calories (approximately 40 pounds of nuts and berries) per day, and the intensity of their search for food will also increase. Any opportunity will become a reward for the bears; unsecured Dumpsters, unlocked doors and open windows will become an invitation to dinner. Therefore, as a community, we need to prepare for this increased bear activity and the bears’ intense need to forage. Please help prevent break-ins and remember to …

• Lock doors and windows

• Keep BBQs clean

• Remove birdfeeders

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• Keep pet food inside

• Secure your trash

In the event you have a problem bear in your area or have a bear visiting your home or business, use DOW-recommended techniques to help deter bears from entering your home. The Aspen Police Department is always available to answer questions and perform site visits to help you in your pursuit to protect yourself, family, and our local bears.

For more information about bears, please visit our website, http://www.aspenbears.com, or the DOW website at wildlife.state.co.us. Please call our Bear Hotline at 429-1768 with general questions. And for problems with bears call the Aspen Police Department at 920-5400. In case of emergency call 911.

Gretchen Born

community safety supervisor, Aspen Police Department

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