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View Full Version : Bear Invasion! Aspen Sees Tenfold Increase in Bear Sightings



megimoo
09-27-2009, 08:59 PM
Officials Tell Colorado Residents to Be "Mean" to the Bears

Famously dubbed the Rodeo Drive of the Rockies, Aspen, Colo., is home to gourmet restaurants, fine jewelry stores, luxury hotels and, for a few months in the summer, bears.

"Bears are emblematic of the Aspen community," said Aspen resident Mark Goodman. "They are wild, beautiful, fabulous creatures that are awesome, yet you keep your distance ... the beauty and the fear is what makes it so fascinating."

Fascinating, but this year, it's a dangerous problem. Aspen police report a nearly tenfold increase in the number of bear sightings in town. Wildlife experts think that a moist spring caused a berry shortage, forcing hungry bears to wander into town in search of food.

"Once a bear gets into a human environment they quickly realize the fried chicken you or I had for dinner last night and may have put in the trash can is highly caloric," said Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton.

Bears need nearly 20,000 calories a day to bulk up before hibernating and feed for 20 hours a day to get it.

Officials are now concerned that across Colorado too many wild bears have developed a tasted for human food and are getting used to people. They are now actively telling residents to be, literally, mean to the bears. Yell at them, throw rocks and if they charge you, stand up to them.

"You want to be as big, as large as possible, and you always want to fight back with a black bear," said Hampton. Black bears tend to be timid and are generally not aggressive.

"When they are utilizing our environment as their habitat in that manner, they are also very likely to defend that territory, " said Hampton. "And so it can be a dangerous situation when bears get to the point where they are breaking into homes to get food."

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/bear-invasion-aspen-sees-tenfold-increase-bear-sightings/Story?id=8679626&page=1

Rockntractor
09-27-2009, 09:05 PM
Officials Tell Colorado Residents to Be "Mean" to the Bears

Famously dubbed the Rodeo Drive of the Rockies, Aspen, Colo., is home to gourmet restaurants, fine jewelry stores, luxury hotels and, for a few months in the summer, bears.

"Bears are emblematic of the Aspen community," said Aspen resident Mark Goodman. "They are wild, beautiful, fabulous creatures that are awesome, yet you keep your distance ... the beauty and the fear is what makes it so fascinating."

Fascinating, but this year, it's a dangerous problem. Aspen police report a nearly tenfold increase in the number of bear sightings in town. Wildlife experts think that a moist spring caused a berry shortage, forcing hungry bears to wander into town in search of food.

"Once a bear gets into a human environment they quickly realize the fried chicken you or I had for dinner last night and may have put in the trash can is highly caloric," said Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton.

Bears need nearly 20,000 calories a day to bulk up before hibernating and feed for 20 hours a day to get it.

Officials are now concerned that across Colorado too many wild bears have developed a tasted for human food and are getting used to people. They are now actively telling residents to be, literally, mean to the bears. Yell at them, throw rocks and if they charge you, stand up to them.

"You want to be as big, as large as possible, and you always want to fight back with a black bear," said Hampton. Black bears tend to be timid and are generally not aggressive.

"When they are utilizing our environment as their habitat in that manner, they are also very likely to defend that territory, " said Hampton. "And so it can be a dangerous situation when bears get to the point where they are breaking into homes to get food."

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/bear-invasion-aspen-sees-tenfold-increase-bear-sightings/Story?id=8679626&page=1

My sister in law could scare them off but she consumes three times as many calories and eats all winter!

Elspeth
09-27-2009, 09:12 PM
I can't wait for the bears to knock over a KFC. That will be fun to watch. :)

Rockntractor
09-27-2009, 09:21 PM
I can't wait for the bears to knock over a KFC. That will be fun to watch. :)
I wonder whether they will choose regular extra crispy or grilled?

PoliCon
09-27-2009, 09:33 PM
Maybe the bears will take out a couple of learjet liberals. :)

Elspeth
09-27-2009, 09:41 PM
I wonder whether they will choose regular extra crispy or grilled?

Extra crispy! :)

SaintLouieWoman
09-27-2009, 10:24 PM
They always give that advice about standing up, making yourself look big and scaring them. At Zion Natonal Park in Utah, they gave that same advice about mountain lions.

Now I believe in bear bells when in the wilderness. Of course Aspen isn't exactly a wilderness. :D

The bear bell concept worked perfectly when I was in the wilds of Brtish Columbia. In fact it worked so well that I ended up going to a dump to see some darned bears. A bear keeper at the STL zoo gave me that advice.

noonwitch
09-28-2009, 11:19 AM
Poor bears, people built cities in their mountains!


The only bears in Michigan are in the UP and the northern LP. One was spotted in Rockford (10 miles north of Grand Rapids) a couple of years ago, which is really far south for them. They get them around Grayling and Gaylord, but the bears stay away from more populated areas like Traverse City and Petoskey.

On the up side, it looks like Lions may be replacing the pussycats in Detroit, or at least the guys at the office are hopeful again.

megimoo
09-28-2009, 12:43 PM
They always give that advice about standing up, making yourself look big and scaring them. At Zion Natonal Park in Utah, they gave that same advice about mountain lions.

Now I believe in bear bells when in the wilderness. Of course Aspen isn't exactly a wilderness. :D

The bear bell concept worked perfectly when I was in the wilds of Brtish Columbia. In fact it worked so well that I ended up going to a dump to see some darned bears. A bear keeper at the STL zoo gave me that advice.

snip
We advise the outdoorsmen to (where) "wear" noisy little bells on clothing so as to give advanced warning to any bears that might be close by so you don't take them by surprise.
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We also advise anyone using the out-of-doors to carry "Pepper Spray" with him or her in case of an encounter with a bear.
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Outdoorsmen should also be able on the watch for fresh bear activity, and be able to tell the difference between Black Bear shit and Grizzly Bear shit. Black Bear shit is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly Bear shit has "little" bells in it, and smells like pepper.
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