Bears have been spotted in populated areas of Boulder, prompting the city to issue a warning to residents and visitors about their presence. Bears have been spotted south of Arapahoe Road in the Hill, Table Mesa, Martin Acres, and Chautauqua neighborhoods.

Wildlife officers have already relocated one female bear, and the city is alerting residents on how to prevent bears from entering the city.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, allowing bears to eat trash and garbage causes serious problems for both people and bears. Bears are willing to work hard to get at trash and garbage, and they return frequently in the hopes of finding more. These food-conditioned bears will occasionally enter homes, garages, and even vehicles in search of a quick meal. Bears in search of such a high-calorie source can cause extensive property damage and even become aggressive. Allowing bears to eat garbage is one of the most common causes of human-bear conflict. Being mindful of how you handle and store trash can protect your home and property while also assisting in the survival of bears in the wild.

Tips to prevent human/bear conflicts include:

  • Keep garbage in a well-secured enclosure.
  • Only put out garbage on the morning of pickup; bring empty cans back inside before dark.
  • Use a bear-resistant trash can or dumpster. These are available online or from your trash hauler.
  • Clean all garbage cans regularly to keep them odor free. The scent of ammonia can deter bears.
  • Take down all bird feeders. Bird feeders are a major source of bear/human conflicts – 397 conflicts because of them in 2019 alone. Birds have naturally available food sources during the spring, summer and fall. Don’t let your bird feeder become a bear feeder.
  • Don’t leave pet food or stock feed outside – never provide food sources for any wildlife.
  • Clean all BBQ grills.
  • Keep garage doors and windows closed and locked, especially between dusk and dawn.
  • Don’t leave attractants such as snacks, food wrappers, gum, or even scented hand lotions in your car; and always lock vehicle doors.