Bears Emerging from Hibernation And So Should Your Wildlife Resistant Containers & Trash Practices

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-April 6, 2018-With the arrival of spring across the City of Steamboat Springs, the Steamboat Springs Police department reminds residents of the wildlife protection regulations as bears start to emerge from hibernation. The first signs of spring bear activity have been observed and the city asks for your compliance with the Wildlife Resistant Trash Container ordinance to help keep wildlife where they belong – in the wild. According to the Colorado Parks & Wildlife, 8,000 to 12,000 black bears are trying to share space with an ever-growing human population. With many more people living and playing in bear country, human-bear encounters are on the rise. Each year, bears attracted to human food sources damage property, vehicles and even homes. Bears that find food around homes, campgrounds and communities often lose their natural wariness of people. Even though black bears are not naturally aggressive and seldom attack or injure people, they are still strong, powerful animals. A bear intent on getting a meal could injure someone who gets in its way. Every year bears that have become too comfortable around people have to be destroyed. “Trash, pet food and bird feeders are all wildlife attractors that habituate animals to the urban interface and create potentially dangerous situations between animals and people,” said Steamboat Springs Police Commander Annette Dopplick. “Let’s all take that extra step to secure the trash can, use the bear bar on the dumpster and clean-up around the yard now so that we minimize issues over the coming months.” All commercial properties within the city limits, including those used for special events and properties that are the site of construction activities, must use an approved wildlife resistant container at all times when the container is outdoors. Residential requirements include storing refuse containers (if not approved wildlife resistant containers) indoors at all times except between the hours of 6:00am and 8:00pm on trash pick-up days. If a resident receives a citation, they are required to upgrade to a ‘bear-proof’ container. Businesses and residential property owners can check with their trash collection company on wildlife resistant options and services. The Steamboat Springs Police seek your assistance in keeping bears and other wildlife out of trash. Local bear information may be found at the city’s website, steamboatsprings.net/bears and Colorado Parks & Wildlife, wildlife.state.co.us/bears. In addition, www.bearsmart.com and www.BeBearAware.org contain additional information.

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