BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — For those new to Colorado, it’s the pre-hibernation season for bears which means chow time.

The City of Boulder has issued a warning to residents and visitors to be aware of the presence of bears as two families have been spotted in populated areas. The bears have been spotted south of Arapahoe Road in neighborhoods including the Hill, Table Mesa, Martin Acres and Chautauqua.

One female bear has already been relocated by wildlife officers and the city is alerting people on how to prevent attracting the bears into the city.

City officials are reminding people what bears do this time of year which is fatten up before they go into hibernation for the winter. With that, they go wherever they sense food available attracting them to campsites and out of remote areas into populated ones.

First and foremost, take measures to mask food smells and do not leave food out in the open. Here are some suggestions on how to bearproof your surroundings to keep the animals safely away:

  • Use bear-resistant trash and compost bins, and make sure latches are secure and bins are not overflowing. Contact your waste hauler if you need to order or replace a bin.
  • All trash and compost containers put out the night before collection are required to be in bear-resistant containers. This applies to the entire city.
  • Pick ripe fruit from trees and don’t allow it to collect on the ground. If you would like to donate the fruit from your trees, or need help harvesting, contact Community Fruit Rescue.
  • Secure livestock, goats and chickens within an enclosure or electric fence.
  • Remove food wrappers, coffee cups and any item with the slightest odor from vehicles and ensure the doors are locked.
  • Remove bird feeders and clean up spilled seeds on the ground.
  • Keep pets indoors, especially at night, and do not leave pet food or dishes outdoors.
  • Clean up and store outdoor grills inside after use.
  • Be aware of dog leash restrictions on hiking trails.
  • Report bear sightings

Three bears were spotted in the University Hill neighborhood a few weeks ago and a local captured a glimpse of the trio. They are most likely one of the two bear families roaming around Boulder.

But not all experiences can be as innocent – a man was just attacked by a bear in New Castle on Saturday night when he went outside to check a noise and the bear knocked him down.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife sends a similar message every year around this time to remind those recreating in the mountains and anyone living around wildlife, even those in cities close to the foothills.