ASPEN, Colo. — Colorado Parks and Wildlife says Colorado is dealing with a bear problem this summer. Over the past two weeks, more bears have been moving into human-populated areas.
The heavy rainfall the state experienced in the spring ruined the growth of berry bushes that bears rely on. Without their naturally grown food, the animals are moving into urban areas in search of meals.
More recently, bears have been causing issues near Aspen. Eleven designated camping sites at Crater Lake have been closed to overnight camping because of bears.
“It’s turning out to be a worse summer than last year,” said Jennifer Churchill with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The Front Range is also dealing with a bear problem. Communities such as Evergreen, Estes Park and Boulder Heights, to name a few, have reported sightings lately.
“Bears are basically getting into homes,” Churchill said.
So far this season, wildlife officials have had to remove about two to three bears and euthanize two more. Churchill is concerned with bears moving into populated areas that wildlife officials will have to put down more.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is urging everyone to bear-proof their homes and to not feed any wild animals.
“We want them to keep their natural behavior. We want them to find food on their own and we need to step it up as far as bear-proofing,” Churchill said.
The average bear consumes 10,000 calories a day in the weeks and months leading up to hibernation season, which begins around Thanksgiving, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife experts.