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Wildlife Officials Issue Warnings as Bears Emerge from Hibernation

As spring weather approaches, residents living along Colorado's Front Range have begun seeing bears as the animals emerge from their Winter hibernation and set out in search of food. As a result, area wildlife officials have begin warning residents to take precautions in order to prevent unwanted close encounters with the hungry animals.

One of the principle causes of bears getting too comfortable around people, officials say, is trash. Residents in areas close to the mountains are encouraged to avoid putting trash out the day before it is picked up and instead wait until the morning of pick-up. This will prevent bears from wandering into urban areas after smelling the trash at night, when they are more likely to come into city streets. Other tips for avoiding bear encounters are to take down birdfeeders during warmer months, keeping barbecue pits clean and stored in garages or sheds, and feeding pets indoors rather than outside.

The state of Colorado is home to an estimated 16,000 to 18,000 black bears, the population of which is partially controlled by limited fall hunting.

March 26, 2012

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