Wildlife officials are reminding Boulder County residents that they could start to see more bear and mountain lion activity as the weather warms up this spring.
Jennifer Churchill, a spokeswoman with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said mountain lions are active year-round and that this is the time of year when bears begin to emerge.
"Now is definitely the time when bears are out of hibernation and going out looking for food," Churchill said.
Boulder police said they received several reports about a group of mountain lions feeding on a carcass in the 2600 block of Kohler Drive on Tuesday, and Churchill said Colorado Parks and Wildlife also has received several reports of bear sightings in the city.
"They are definitely out and about," Churchill said.
Churchill said that, luckily, wildlife officials have not had to relocate or put down any bears yet this year. Four bears were put down in Boulder last year, prompting the City Council to pass an ordinance requiring bear-resistant trash cans in certain parts of the city.
"With people's awareness level and changes to the trash containers, hopefully we can minimize if not completely eradicate the need to remove bears," Churchill said.
Churchill said residents can help by making sure to remove any sources of food including trash, bird feeders, dirty grills or animals from backyards to avoid attracting bears.
Unlike bears, mountain lions aren't typically looking for food near houses, so Churchill said residents should use motion-sensor lights to scare away any passing lions. She said leaving talk radio on and clearing out any potential hiding spots in yards or on pathways also helps.
"Lions don't come around looking for food, so you just want to deter them from being out there," Churchill said.
Erie police said Thursday they were looking into reports of a mountain lion seen in town this week.
In an encounter with either bears or mountain lions, Churchill said that the best option is not to run.
"Try to give them space to get away from you," Churchill said. "With lions and bears, make yourself look big. You don't want to run, just back away slowly and give them a chance to escape."