Mama bear, three cubs meander through Golden, snack in tree

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Two bear cubs snack in a tree in north Golden on Aug. 23, 2012.

Two bear cubs snack in a tree in north Golden on Aug. 23, 2012.

GOLDEN, Colo. -- A mama bear and her three cubs are being left alone to snack in a tree in north Golden with an audience gathering beneath them.

According to the Department of Wildlife, the bear family was first spotted Wednesday night east of Highway 93. Residents were warned to stay indoors, but now, as the bears seem to be posing little threat, many are coming out to catch a glimpse of the munching animals.

Just after 6 a.m. Thursday, it was confirmed that the bears had migrated to a tree along the Tucker Gulch Trail. DOW officials have put up barricades near the tree to keep onlookers a safe distance from the animals.

Three bear cubs gather at the base of a tree in north Golden on Aug. 23, 2012.

Three bear cubs gather at the base of a tree in north Golden on Aug. 23, 2012.

The DOW will continue to monitor the bears until they come down, hoping to usher them to safety without having to use a tranquilizer gun.

"We want them to move out on their own naturally, particularly when there's a mama and so many cubs," Wildlife Manager Vicki Vargas-Madrid said. "It's not always successful tranquilizing that many bears, and the drugs are really hard on the cubs."