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Parks and Wildlife warns Colorado Springs about bear danger

As temperatures start to drop, bears will eat up to 20,000 calories a day to fatten up for winter
Posted at 8:43 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-19 09:09:11-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Catey Craddock took her kids to an empty Bear Creek park today. She says that back to school means an empty playground for her family, which is a rare sight to see.

"Love this time of year in Colorado Springs," she says.

But Craddock isn't the only one who enjoys this weather, bears do too.

This time last year, she started to notice bears in her Rockrimmon community.

"We notice it mostly at the end of summer and very beginning of spring. We get bears that come through and eat our trash. We used to think it was raccoons, but we actually caught a bear one time," says Craddock.

The bear had broken into their backyard in the middle of the night. It had been attracted to her neighbor's beekeeping hive in their backyard.

"We know bears love honey," Craddock giggled.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife are warning Colorado Springs about the danger these bears are posing this time of year. They're getting hungry for the winter.

"Well, we're moving into the fall, and bears are going into what's called hyperphagia. They can be active for 20 hours a day, looking for any type of food sources," says Public Information Officer Joey Livingston.

Livingston says hyperphagia can cause these bears to wander into places they wouldn't normally: backyards, city streets, and residential neighborhoods.

They're eating up to 20,000 calories a day to fatten up for their hibernation in the winter.

The best thing to do if you're worried about bears is to remove food sources near your home.

"It's important to make sure you're not providing any food sources for bears, trash is number one. Try to make sure you're keeping your trash secure, especially if you live on the west side of Colorado Springs," says Livingston.

He stresses if you see a bear coming near your house, don't panic. Make sure to let it know that it's not welcome. He calls it "hazing."

"From a safe location, inside your door, clap your hands, yell at the bear, throw things at it, bang some pots and pans, just do something to make it feel uncomfortable," says Livingston.

Fortunately, thanks to the hunter's training Craddock's husband had, they were able to ward off the bear in their yard last year. One flashlight in the face, and it took off.

"You don't really need to be afraid of them, but the more prepared and aware you can be, the better," says Craddock.

If you'd like to learn more about bear safety and how to make sure your home and family are safe, you can visit the Parks and Wildlife website.
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