Living In Bear Country
Please Be Bear Aware. It is our personal responsibility to do our part to keep bears wild. Today, bears are sharing space with a growing human population. Curious, intelligent, and very resourceful, black bears will explore all possible food sources.
Aspen bears can be attracted to human food sources when natural food sources are unavailable. These bear have been known to damage property, vehicles, and even homes in their pursuit. Bears that find food around homes, campgrounds or communities are often desensitized to human encounters. Even though black bears are not naturally aggressive towards humans, a bear intent on getting a meal could injure a person who gets in its way. Every single year bears that have become too comfortable with human interaction have to be destroyed. Every time the Department of Wildlife is forced to destroy a bear, it’s not just the bear that loses.
How You Can Help
Black bears are curious, smart and can adapt to almost any environment. They’re not picky and will eat just about anything with calories, including your leftover garbage. Bears want the most calories that require the least amount of effort. As a citizen living in bear habitat, please remember to:
- Secure your trash.
- Remove birdfeeders.
- Keep BBQs clean.
- Keep pet food indoors.
- Keep garage doors closed.
- Secure windows and doors.
- Be responsible about trash and bird feeders.
- Don’t leave food or trash inside your vehicle.
- Pick fruit before it ripens, clean up fallen fruit.
Garbage Kills Bears
Please follow city ordinances regarding Wildlife Protection, which outlines wildlife-resistant and wildlife-proof trash receptacles.
Wildlife-resistant trash receptacles may be left outside on day of pick-up only, between the hours of 6AM through 7PM. Wildlife-proof trash receptacle may be left out overnight.
Securing Your Residence or Business
During bear season it is imperative for citizens to close and lock windows and doors to prevent bears from entering your business or home. If bears visit your business or home, contact the Aspen Police or Division of Wildlife for tips on deterrents.
Bird Feeders Kill Bears
City ordinance requires that birdfeeders are prohibited during bear season, April 15 through November 15. Great alternatives for bird feeders include water features, plantings, nest boxes, and flowers to attract birds.
Studies have shown that nutritious bird seeds are often the first reward a bear gets for exploring human places. Letting your bird feeders turn into a bear meal positively reinforces to bears that it’s safe to come close to people and homes looking for food. Unfortunately, this can be a deadly lesson for a bear.