Breckenridge police warns residents about increased bear activity
Ryan Summerlin August 29, 2014
Living with bears
Bear activity has increased in Breckenridge in recent days as the winter hibernation season draws near. Once bears know where to find a non-natural food source they will return again and again.
Below are tips residents can do to help keep the bears in the woods, and trash in the cans:
• Don’t leave trash out at night
• Keep garbage secured inside until the morning of trash pickup
• Resident without a garage or shed should build a bear-proof trash enclosure
• Use a bear-resistant trash receptacle with a locking lid
• If you use a dumpster, lock the lid
• Take down birdseed and hummingbird feeders during times when bears are active
• Burn off food debris from your BBQ grill after using
• Don’t leave pet food outside
• Keep ground level windows and garage doors closed, especially at night, to avoid a bear wandering inside
• Use noise, motion-activated lights, ammonia, bleach, moth balls or pepper spray to deter bears from homes and property
It’s that time of year when bears prepare for winter hibernation, knowing they have just a few short months to layer on enough fat to survive their long winter’s nap.
During the late summer months, a bear’s calorie needs skyrocket from about 2,500 calories a day to more than 20,000. Bears are known to travel more than 60 miles in search of food and they forage almost nonstop.
The Breckenridge Police Department and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have received an increase in bear calls in recent days. Most of the calls stem from bears wandering into town to feed in local garbage cans. Eating trash not only is unhealthy for the bears, but also is problematic for the community and could result in a ticket for homeowners.
The town of Breckenridge has a trash ordinance to help reduce wildlife numbers, including bears, that come into town to forage for food. The ordinance addresses placement and use of garbage cans and similar receptacles.
According to the ordinance, garbage may be placed at a curbside only from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the day of trash services. Garbage may be placed outside for pickup only if it is fully contained in an appropriate receptacle.
The lid of the container must be securely attached, leaving no gaps between the container and lid. All households are required to store garbage cans inside a home, garage, building or shed, unless a resident’s garbage can is equipped with a bear-proof mechanism that will hold the lid securely to the can.
For more information about living with bears, visit Colorado Parks and Wildlife online. To report bear sightings or nuisances, call CPW at (970) 725-6200 or the Breckenridge Police Department at 453-2941.
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