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Colorado wildlife officials hope bear activity data will serve as ‘wake-up call’

Posted at 5:43 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 19:43:56-05

DENVER — Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have documented or responded to a total of 5,369 bear calls from April 1 through December 31, 2019, according to a report released by the agency Tuesday.

Additionally, Colorado wildlife officers documented more than 800 reports of bears entering dwellings and vehicles, which often leads to conflicts and the bear being put down. In 2019, 92 bears were euthanized, or 1.7 percent of the year’s reported bear conflicts.

Tuesday’s report comes after the CPW launched a tracking system for human-bear interactions on April 1. The agency hopes that this new data will serve as a “wake-up call” to Colorado residents, CPW said.

Trash is the leading cause of bear habituation, accounting for one-third of all bear reports CPW received last year. Wildlife officers say communities can help reduce human-bear conflicts and avoid attracting bears by enacting a trash ordinance.

The majority of last year’s bear activity was reported west of Interstate 25, but bears are found each year on the eastern side of I-25. Parts of Eagle and Pitkin counties reported the most issues with bears, according to the CPW.