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CPW Reminds Residents to be Bear Aware

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to remind residents and visitors to be extra bear aware this time of year.

"This is the time of year where bears are preparing for hibernation so they're very active," said Mike Porras, Spokesperson with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

It's a period also known as hyperphagia.

"They're walking stomachs they need about 20,000 calories. That's the equivalent of 70 cheeseburgers," said Porras.

Thankfully this year, there's still plenty of food available in their natural habitat.

"They're not coming into town as much as we have seen in the past," Porras said.

In 2017, CPW moved 22 bears and put down 36 of them. That's a lot higher compared to 2018, with no bears removed and three put down so far.

"This is the year where even though the chances of a bear visiting a bear are lower, it does not mean that you should get out of those good habits," said Porras.

A good way to start is by removing anything around your home that can be used as a meal.

"Trash is a big one. There's a lot of typical things in a trash can that can provide a lot of calories for bears," Porras said.

When food is left out intentionally, there's a large chance that bear will come back for more.

"If you're feeding a bear, you're essentially sentencing that bear to death but it's our officers that have to carry out that execution," said Porras.

If you do encounter a bear face to face, those with CPW said you should never run away.

"You want to appear larger, talk forcefully to that bear, yell at it and get it away from you," Porras said.

More information on being bear aware can be found on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.

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