Bear rehab success in Summit County |

Bear rehab success in Summit County

Janice Kurbjun
Summit Daily News
Special to the Daily/Colorado Division of Parks anBear cubs awake from their man-made den in which they were placed in February after becoming orphans through contact with humans. The cubs were rehabilitated and then placed in the den to start their new life.

In February, the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife did something that’s out of the ordinary. They placed four bear cub orphans in two man-made dens, one north of Silverthorne and one on the Grand Mesa. They had been captured the summer before after coming into close contact with humans. One incident in Summit County involved a vehicle hitting one of a bruin family and others scaling a power pole only to have one electrocuted, frightening the others.

In March, slightly more than a month after they were denned, the bears began waking up from their slumber, roaming around their den sites both north of Silverthorne and on the Grand Mesa.

“It’s one of the successful stories we can point to when we try to rehab bears,” said Mike Porras, spokesman with the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. “We hope we never see them again. We hope their experience with humans has given them enough healthy fear of humans to keep them away from conflict.”

The bears are tagged with white ear tags to indicate they’re rehabilitated bears.

Camera images captured the Silverthorne cubs, but there are no images of those on Grand Mesa. The cubs found the camera, and evidence showed they had clawed and chewed on it. Officials say the Grand Mesa cubs made it out of the den.

“It’s neat to see these little cubs come out of hibernation – wandering around and playing and getting used to their new environment,” Porras said.

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