PARKER, Colo. — Wildlife officials are warning people in the Parker area to be on the lookout for an unusual visitor to the area: a black bear.
The bear was seen early Tuesday in the Stonegate subdivision before moving south toward the Bradbury Ranch community.
Jim Gromer saw it around 8 a.m. Tuesday.
"I was coming out of my garage and I looked down the street and I saw what looked like a dog running away from me," he said. "I turn around the next corner and sure enough, I see him dart across the street. Probably a 350-pound bear, he’s huge."
Colorado Parks and Wildlife says it is quite rare to see a bear that far east.
"It’s not a common occurrence to see them move through town like that east and cross over I-25," said Jason Clay with CPW. "A bear, when they come into residential areas, is not a good thing."
"Typically, we’ll get a couple deer down by the creek. We had a raccoon once -- that was pretty exciting. But the bear is by far the biggest thing we’ve seen thus far," said Gromer.
CPW believes the bear is likely following a greenbelt that goes through the area.
"A lot of times, they're moving through those areas at night, so they're not really seen," said Clay.
The good news for everyone involved is that the bear appears to still be afraid of humans.
FOX31's Evan Kruegel captured the bear on his camera a full 2 miles from where Gromer saw it earlier in the day, indicating it's moving quickly through the area.
"The good thing [with] this bear is we don’t have any reports of it causing any incidents. It’s not getting into trash, hasn’t shown aggressive behavior toward people or gotten into bird feeders or anything like that, so that’s good. That’s what we want to here. And there is the possibility it can work its way out of town into its natural habitat," said Clay.
At this point, Clay says the plan is to leave the bear alone and hope it moves away from neighborhoods.
CPW is reminding everyone in the area to bring bird feeders and trash inside.
If you see the bear, make loud noises to ensure it remains scared of humans.