Friday, August 24, 2007

Bears: Go wild

Seen any bears lately? Wildlife officers say this will be a tough fall for them, as they struggle to bulk up for hibernation, chowing down 20,000 to 25,000 calories a day. They're looking for those yummy berries we were talking about last week.

Officers have killed at least six bears around Aspen that had become too attached to people's garbage cans and kitchen fridges.

First offenders are captured and taken into the wilds for release. Officers even give them a shot of "aversive conditioning" - blasts of rubber pellets to the butt. That's still not enough for most of the bears. They're just too hungry and locked in survival mode.

The Denver Post has a story today -- -- about the struggle for the bears to keep up with their eating and the struggle of officers to keep up with bear removal.


Teleken said...

Pitkin County needs to create stronger penalties and enforce trash can laws to get their residents to stop leaving plastic cans out at night for the bears to raid. There is a great line in the DP article about a ranger's bumper sticker that says "If you can't live with bears- leave."

Stephen Colbert said...

You have the nerve to put this on Pitkin County! I'm all against big government, but when bears are involved I'm always on the side of big government. Last time I checked the people were there first. The real enemy here is the bears.

zen said...

Have a fat bear that's made the rounds through the neighborhood the last few Thursday nights - the night before trash pickup. Fortunately our neighborhood is pretty responsible, and waits until Friday morning to put their trash out (as it should be). The city of WP however had done little to enforce its ordinances in this regard, and there are other problem areas in the community.

I've worked on bear-aware type campaigns for years, and have come to the conclusion that - as it usually does with these kinds of things - it will take someone or some kid getting mauled or killed in their home or yard before municipalities really take the bear issue seriously.

Bill Kuhn said...

You can knock a bear out. You just got to hit him right. Don't try and cross got to hit him square in the beak. He'll drop like a rock.

I love the folks that think a bear bigger than a dog is going to be mauled or killed? What, is he going to jump through my window in Springs Ranch and sit down and watch Oprah with me? Grab a Diet Coke bear...enjoy because Oprah told me this episode is FAAAAABBBBBULLLLLOUUUUUS!!!!