Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds public of bear hyperphagia

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FILE — A black bear and cub share a spot in tall grass off a road in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo.– The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Service is reminding the public through Twitter that the Colorado bear population is entering hyperphagia, a time in a bear’s life where they’re focused on gaining weight before their winter hibernation.

Bears around this time of year will spend up to 20 hours trying to eat over 20,000 calories to preserve themselves through the winter.

Jamin Grigg, a senior wildlife biologist from CPW’s southwest region, “Understanding bear behaviors and being aware of what steps you can take to avoid bears from approaching your home is an important part of living in Colorado bear country.”

The CPW recommends to following to help prevent human/bear conflicts during this season:

Bearproofing your home:

  • Keep garbage in a well-secured location.
  • Only put out garbage on the morning of pickup.
  • Clean garbage cans regularly to keep them free of food odors: ammonia is effective.
  • Use a bear-resistant trash can or dumpster.
  • Don’t leave pet food or stock feed outside.
  • Bird feeders are a major source of bear/human conflicts. Attract birds naturally with flowers and water baths. Do not hang bird feeders from April 15 to Nov. 15.
  • Do not attract other wildlife by feeding them, such as deer, turkeys or small mammals.
  • Don’t allow bears to become comfortable around your house. If you see one, yell at it, throw things at it, make noise to scare it off.
  • Secure compost piles. Bears are attracted to the scent of rotting food.
  • Clean the grill after each use.
  • Clean-up thoroughly after picnics in the yard or on the deck.
  • If you have fruit trees, don’t allow the fruit to rot on the ground.
  • If you keep small livestock, keep animals in a fully covered enclosure. Construct electric fencing if possible. Don’t store livestock food outside, keep enclosures clean to minimize odors, hang rags soaked in ammonia and/or Pine-Sol around the enclosure.
  • If you have beehives, install electric fencing where allowed.
  • Talk to your neighbors and kids about being bear aware.
  • Keep garage doors closed.

Cars, traveling and campsites:

  • Lock your doors when you’re away from home and at night.
  • Keep the bottom floor windows of your house closed when you’re not at home.
  • Do not keep food in your vehicle; roll up windows and lock the doors of your vehicles.
  • When car-camping, secure all food and coolers in a locked vehicle.
  • Keep a clean camp, whether you’re in a campground or in the backcountry.
  • When camping in the backcountry, hang food 100 feet or more from the campsite; don’t bring any food into your tent.
  • Cook food well away from your tent; wash dishes thoroughly.

To learn more about Colorado bears, visit this website.

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