Bear will be euthanized after EagleVail garage break-in
Animal was caught in a trap laid nearby
Being bear aware• Don’t feed bears, and don’t put out food for other wildlife that attracts bears. • Be responsible about trash and bird feeders. • Burn food off barbeque grills and clean after each use. • Keep all bear-accessible windows and doors closed and locked, including home, garage and vehicle doors. • Don’t leave food, trash, coolers, air fresheners or anything that smells in your vehicle. • Pick fruit before it ripens, and clean up fallen fruit. • Talk to your neighbors about doing their part to be bear responsible. • If a bear comes near your home, do your best to chase it away. Yell, blow a whistle, clap your hands, and make other loud noises. But never approach a bear. Source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
EAGLEVAIL — Authorities believe they captured the bear that ripped open an EagleVail garage door in search of food.
The damage to the garage occurred Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. A trap was laid Wednesday, and a 2- to 3-year-old male bear was caught Wednesday night.
Because the bear caused damage and entered a home, it will be euthanized, said Matt Yamashita, district wildlife manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The behavior is somewhat unusual, Yamashita said.
“Bears that cause damage like that — that’s not new for us — but it’s not what we would consider normal bear behavior,” he said.
The bear pulled trash bags out of the garage in search of food.
The homeowner did all the right things by storing trash in a secure location, Yamashita said. However, at some point in its life, the bear learned that it could be rewarded by breaking into a home, garage or shed.
Human-bear conflicts have been on the rise this year as natural food sources are becoming scarce, Yamashita said. The grasses that provide food to bears are now drying up; meanwhile, the berry crop is smaller and late to grow because of the cool, snowy spring.
That leaves bears turning to human-provided sources, such as garbage, Yamashita said.
In Vail, bear reports are up. So far this year, 51 bear sightings have been reported, compared to just 20 by this time last year.
Vail police have issued 500 warnings and eight citations for its wildlife protection ordinance so far this year. Last year at this time, it had issued 148 warnings and one citation.