what to do if you encounter a bear | RE/MAX Colorado Springs

What to do if You Encounter a Bear | Real Estate Colorado Springs

Black Bears in Colorado Springs have come out of hibernation, what do we do?

The above photo was taken this morning by a resident's security camera in the Broadmoor neighboorhood of Colorado Springs. SEARCH BROADMOOR HOMES FOR SALE. This young bear was looking for some breakfast. This means the bears are out and it is time for Colorado Springs residents to take action so we can minimize conflicts which sometimes, unfortunately, force Colorado Parks and Wildlife's district wildlife managers to euthanize bears. It is a very sad thing when we lose a bear like this especially when it could have been avoidable. It is up to us as a community to decide whether this becomes a problem or not. 

What you need to know 

In general, Black Bears in Colorado are harmless. A truly wild Black Bear in Colorado will run away from any site or sound of a human. The problem arises when these Bears become habituated to humans. The following is a guide to help you ensure you are helping not hurting Black Bears in our community. 

What to do if you encounter a bear | RE/MAX Colorado Springs

Photo by Colorado Parks and Wildlife

What happens when bears become habituated to humans?

Black Bears are large-bodied omnivores who primarily eat vegetation in the wild such as seeds, grasses, berries, acorns, and forbs. Bears are also big fans of insects and carcasses. When these localized natural foods are not available to bears they are forced to seek out other sources of food. These sources include human food sources such as trash, fruit trees, pet food, bird feeders, livestock and agricultural food sources such as farms. This search seems to become most urgent in the late-summer and early-fall, mid-august through late September, when bears have an increased need to eat and build up their fat reserve as they prepare for winter hibernation. 

Should you be concerned?

No! If you are smart enough to bear-proof your home (see step by step process below) you should not have to worry about a bear conflict. Especially if you are active in making sure your neighbors are informed as well. All it takes is one consistent food source for bears to become habituated to that area. 

What are the top things we can do to prevent conflicts with bears?

The number one thing you can do to prevent a bear encounter is to bear-proof your home. See CPW's Bearproofing Your Home Flyer. Here are the top things you can do to bear-proof your home:

  1. The absolutely number one thing you can do to prevent a bear coming onto your property is to keep your trash inside or in an enclosure (shed, house, garage or build an enclosure in your backyard so the bear can not get to your trash)
  2. Remove bird feeders, burn off any meat remnants left over on your grill, and keep any pet food inside so bears can not even smell it.
  3. Pick up any fruit from fruit trees and make sure to mend your compost thoroughly (so all food is mixed in with dirt etc) or keep composts enclosed. For more information visit Colorado Parks and Wildlife's website



What do you do if you see a bear? 

If you see a bear in the wild it is a pretty special thing. Bears are pretty elusive and will spook easily if you encounter them deep in the woods. However, we often see bears in our own neighborhoods. Especially close to the mountains in Colorado Springs. We want bears to maintain their natural fear of people. One way to do this is to not let them feel comfortable near your house or in your community. Make as much noise as possible and make sure the bear has an escape route. Bears that intentionally approach people may be looking for handouts and could potentially be habituated to humans and could potentially become aggressive. This is unlikely, however, it happens. If you are approached by a bear, do not run. Fight back as aggressively as possible to let that bear you will not be worth its effort. 

Become a Bear Aware Volunteer

Human behaviors, such as the storage of garbage and other food attractants can affect bear behavior and ultimately whether or not an individual bear may be more inclined to attack a human. Colorado Parks and Wildlife started a Bear Aware Volunteer program where volunteers throughout the state of Colorado help their neighbors and communities become aware of how their actions can directly affect wildlife where they live. To become a Bear Aware Volunteer visit here. 

For more information check out Colorado Parks & Wildlife Human-Bear conflicts.

Take the Keep Bears Wild Pledge

Posted by Nick Clement on


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