CO Parks & Wildlife warns public to watch for bears displaced by wildfires

COLORADO  — Humans aren’t the only ones who have been displaced by Colorado wildfires. Animals, including black bears, have had to move into new areas as well, and may come into contact with humans as they forage for food.

As a result of the various wildfires around the state, many species of wildlife have been displaced from their food sources and are moving around more than normally and in some cases, into new territories, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The department said black bears are an immediate concern, as one was recently observed along the fire line by firefighters at the Lake Christine Fire. 

Black bears are opportunists and will eat almost any high-caloric food. In the wild, these types of food — acorns, berries, fruit, dead carcasses and other animals — are in abundance. As they seek new sources, the bears displaced by the fire will likely wander through town and as a result, may come across human food and garbage, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. If they return to the area and become accustomed to the new food source, the bears could become a threat to human safety.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it is imperative that homeowners secure all outdoor food waste and garbage.

For more information on living in bear country and handling encounters, visit www.CPW.state.co.us/learn/pages/livingwithwildlifewildbears.aspx.

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