Bears are out in Snowmass; police encourage starting wildlife safety practices
Bears in the Snowmass area are starting to grow more active with the warmer spring weather, Snowmass police officials confirmed Tuesday.
According to Brian Olson, Snowmass police chief, officers know of at least two bears that are out and about in the village area and have been for the past two weeks.
On Monday morning, one of the bears paid resident Ellen Turner and her husband a visit, wandering into their kitchen and snagging a loaf of bread from their pantry.
“He passed up two plates of huevos rancheros with applewood smoked bacon for Dave’s Killer Superseed Bread in the pantry. What’s wrong with my huevos?” Turner said via email.
Olson said this bear in particular has been a problem bear for Snowmass police, as it has adapted the ability to get into homes. In fact, many Snowmass area bears have a lifetime of experience getting into homes, Olson said, learning from their moms as cubs and honing their skills as they grow older.
Snowmass officers are partnering with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to address bears that exhibit “bad behavior” to get them back to their natural foraging habits.
“We’re working with CPW to get bears to return to their normal activity and if they can’t be unhabituated they’ll be removed from the village area to another location,” Olson said.
As bears grow more active in Snowmass, Olson urged residents to pay attention to their food and food wastes, storing all waste in a wildlife-resistant dumpster or taking it to a town dumpster (which are wildlife-resisitant) immediately. He also said residents should lock their ground level doors and windows, especially if they aren’t home.
To help Snowmass police stay on top of bears exhibiting bad behavior, Olson also asked locals to call police immediately when they see a bear so officers can track the bears’ locations and get a sense of which bears are causing problems.
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While the number of bears in Aspen has been manageable so far this summer, a lack of natural food sources could change that as fall approaches.