In the bear blog update, we also answer the burning question: Do polar bears hibernate?
Compiled by Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The bears are here — and they’re probably hungry, said Shannon Schwab, the district wildlife manager for Summit County.
“They’ve been spotted in the Keystone area since March,” said Schwab, adding that she has a feeling it could be a bad year for bears and human-bear encounters that often end poorly for the animals.
When the animals emerge from hibernation, they are hungry and if natural food isn’t available they will turn to other sources, including human food, mostly in the form of improperly stored garbage.
Residents of the Wellington Neighborhood in Breckenridge also recently spotted a big black bear in the area, and the neighborhood association quickly sent out a Facebook message to remind people that they need to keep their garbage properly secured.
It’s this kind of outreach among neighbors that can help prevent bears from relying on human sources of food. Once they find easy pickings in an area, they’ll keep returning, and that’s what often gets them in trouble. Any bear that’s found rummaging in neighborhoods and acting aggressively gets one warning. The second time, under state policy, they are killed.
There’s still time to sign up for the local Bear Aware team, headed by long-time volunteer Gail Marshall. A one-day training session is coming up May 15, so if you’re interested, contact the Colorado Division of Wildlife Hot Sulphur Springs office at (970) 725-6200. Read more about the Bear Aware program here.
Click here to read the rest of our bear blog and to find out whether polar bears hibernate. You can also learn about what might be America’s oldest bear.