PUEBLO — Multiple agencies responded to a bear sighting in the area of Sunset Park early Thursday morning, according to the Pueblo Police Department.
The department said officers saw the bear in several locations before it climbed up a tree behind a home on Duke Street. A Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer was able to get a tranquilizer dart into it.
Police said the Pueblo Fire Department responded to provide a ladder for the CPW officer to get a rope on the sleeping bear, but before they were able to do that the bear began to stir awake and fell out of the tree.
More tranquilizer was used by the officer to allow firefighters and officers to carry the bear to the transport trailer. Parks and Wildlife said the bear will be held for an observation period before it is released back into the wild.
This is one of many wildlife sightings Pueblo has seen this year, including a moose in June. Earlier this month, a baby bobcat crawled under the hood of a woman's car when she lured it out with a fish sandwich and put it in her car while she waited for help.
Though seeing a bear or a bobcat in Pueblo is not uncommon, CPW said the moose seen along Fountain Creek was considered a rare sighting.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a number of resources for people to find the right methods of protecting your home and property while bears are most active, click here. Here are some recommended steps to proper bearproofing:
Keep Bears Out
- Close and lock all bear-accessible windows and doors when you leave the house, and at night before you go to bed.
- Keep car doors and windows closed and locked if you park outside. Make sure there’s nothing with an odor in your vehicle, including candy, gum, air fresheners, food wrappers, lotions and lip balms.
- Close and lock garage doors and windows at night and when you’re not home; garage doors should be down if you are home but not outside.
- Install extra-sturdy doors if you have a freezer, refrigerator, pet food, bird seed, or other attractants stored in your garage.
- Remove any tree limbs that might provide access to upper-level decks and windows.
- Replace exterior lever-style door handles with good quality round door knobs that bears can’t pull or push open.
Get Rid of Attractants
- Don’t leave trash out overnight unless it’s in a bear-proof enclosure or container. Be sure to research all local ordinances and regulations if vacationing.
- Take time to clean your garbage cans to keep them odor-free; ammonia serves as both a cleaner and a bear deterrent
- Don’t store food of any kind in an unlocked garage, flimsy shed or on or under your deck.
- Don’t leave anything with an odor outside, near open windows or in your vehicle, even if you’re home. That includes scented candles, air fresheners, lip balms and lotions.
- Only feed birds when bears are hibernating. If you want to feed birds when bears are active, bring in seed or liquid feeders at night or when you leave home, and regularly clean underneath them.
- Thoroughly clean your grill after every use, ensuring grease and odors are burned off.
- Pick fruit from fruit trees before it gets ripe, and do not allow fallen fruit to rot on the ground.
Remind Bears They’re Not Welcome
- If a bear comes close to your home, haze it away. Loud noises like a firm yell, clapping your hands, banging on pots and pans or blowing an air horn should send bears running.
- Utilize electric fencing, unwelcome mats and scent deterrents like ammonia to teach bears that your property is not bear-friendly.
- If a bear enters your home, open doors and windows and ensure it can leave the same way it got in. Don’t approach the bear or block escape routes.
- Never approach a bear. If a bear won’t leave, call your local CPW office. If a bear presents an immediate threat to human safety, call 911.