MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife says a bear cub was killed after it got startled while in a trash can in Manitou Springs.

CPW said the bear cub got into the trash can then, when startled, raced up a nearby power pole where it was electrocuted.

“Lock your garbage! Be Bear Aware. Keep cubs alive,” CPW said after the incident on Twitter.

Bear activity in 2022

The biggest cause of conflict last year was bears trying to gain access to trash, as well as birdfeeders, livestock, bears accessing open garages, and other human-originated items that are left unsecured.

“These conflicts could all easily be reduced if the public takes some simple steps around their homes and properties to prevent bears from accessing them,” CPW explained.

CPW said that last year, 94 bears were euthanized and 59 were relocated in 2022.

How to bearproof your home

Bear-proofing your home is not only important to your safety but also important for protecting bears.

“Simple changes in human behavior can reap big benefits. If people keep their trash and other potential food items, like birdseed and dog food, off-limits to bears, not only will they protect their homes and property from bear damage, but they’ll also protect bears,” National Wildlife Research Center wildlife biologist Dr. Stewart Breck said.

  • 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, and 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.

CPW wildlife managers estimate that Colorado has between 17,000 – 20,000 bears and the population is stable and growing. The black bear is the only species of bear in the state, and they can be brown, blond, cinnamon and black in color.