Bear safety tips
After last summer's bear sightings, the Broomfield Open Space and Trails Department issued a news release with some general safety guidelines.
Bear sightings are not uncommon along the Front Range, even in neighborhoods and residential areas, and in most cases, bears are simply seeking new habitat and will pass through residential areas without conflict, according to the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife. Colorado is home only to black bears, which could be black, brown, cinnamon or blond fur, and are not aggressive, according to CPW.
If you do encounter a bear:
• Stay calm and never run; running can make a bear chase you.
• Keep your distance. Back slowly away while facing the bear, but avoid direct eye contact.
• Slowly and calmly leave the area. Talk aloud so the bear will become aware of you.
• Be extra careful around a female with cubs. Never approach a cub.
• Never throw food to distract a bear. This teaches a bear to approach people for food.
• Fight back if attacked. Black bears have been driven away when people fight with rocks, sticks, binoculars or even bare hands.
• Report sightings to police dispatch at 303-438-6400 or CPW at 303-291-7277. In an emergency, call 911.
Ways to bear-proof your yard:
•Keep garbage indoors until trash pick-up or use a bear-proof garbage can.
• Feed pets and store pet food inside.
• Burn barbecue grills to immediately clean them after use, and store them indoors.
• Only feed birds in winter, when they need it and when bears sleep. Bears love bird seed and hummingbird feeders.
• Never store food outside. Bears will tear open locked freezers.
•Never leave food, trash, pet food or coolers in your car. Bears will tear open doors and break windshields.
•Harvest fruit and vegetables as they ripen. Pick up fallen fruit from the ground. Keep your lawn mowed and free of flowering dandelions and clover.
• Keep compost clean and securely enclosed .
If you see a bear in your yard:
• Stay calm. If the bear does not find food, it will usually leave.
• Stay away. Bears might attack when they feel threatened.
• Warn others. Bring kids and pets indoors. Remind others to keep their distance.
• Scare that bear. Make sure the bear has a clear escape path. Make lots of noise, turn on lights, bang pots. Don't let the bear become comfortable around your home.
• Remove attractants. After the bear is gone, make sure your home is bear-proof.
Wildlife officials tranquilized and relocated a bear that wandered through the Broomfield Heights neighborhood early Tuesday morning.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said the bear, thought to be a 2-year-old male, was tranquilized around 10:30 a.m. in the neighborhood near Kohl Street and 7th Avenue.
The bear was spotted by residents in that neighborhood, who said it was medium in size and took off running behind houses between 8th Avenue Drive and 7th Avenue Drive.
The bear "probably had been hanging around the area for a few weeks, and wasn't a dangerous bear. He was just moving into the wrong habitat, so we had to move him," Churchill said.
Iva Osburn, who lives on 7th Avenue Drive, saw it on her street, before it cut through a back yard to 8th Avenue Drive. She said the bear seemed larger than a cub.
Keith Markham, who lives nearby, also spotted the bear near 8th Avenue Drive and Kalmia Way and snapped a photo with his cell phone around 8:20 a.m. as he was taking his daughter to school. He said his first thought is "where's mom?"
The bear was spotted not far from Kohl Elementary School, which was placed on lockout for an hour or so. The lockout was lifted at 10:51 a.m. Lockout means all activities will take place inside the school until Boulder Valley School District is instructed it is safe for kids to go outside again.
Broomfield police were in the neighborhood, but were not actively searching for the bear. Department spokeswoman Joleen Reefe said officers were in the area to keep people away from the bear if spotted again, and were leaving the search for the animal to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
This is not the first time a bear has been spotted in Broomfield. In July, a young bear was spotted five days before being tranquilized, captured and relocated.
Larry Rogstad, an area wildlife manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in July said bear sightings in Broomfield are rare, but it's not uncommon for younger bears to wander into urban areas when they are old enough to leave their mothers.
The young bears are likely scouting new territory for the first time and get lost, he said after the July bear sighting.