STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- Colorado wildlife officials say it's time to start securing trash and putting bird feeders away -- bear hibernation period is over.
The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports that the Steamboat Police Department has already received two reports of bears digging into trash. Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras says all black bears across the state are waking up now.
Wildlife officials say bears pay the ultimate price when trash is left in plain sight because often they become a problem and need to be put to sleep. Five bears were euthanized in the Steamboat area last year.
Wildlife officer Andrea Sponseller says bears are more likely to stay in the forest when berry crops are plentiful.
Officials recommend residents get a bear-proof trash can if they don't already have one.