Breckenridge residents urged to steer clear of black bear who forgot to hibernate | VailDaily.com

Breckenridge residents urged to steer clear of black bear who forgot to hibernate

Deepan Dutta
Summit Daily News
The bear, which CPW officials say is a year and a half old, has been accused of ransacking dumpsters and in one case, eating a hot tub cover.
Paul Conrad, Aspen Times

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is warning Breck residents that a juvenile black bear, which apparently never hibernated, has been roaming the area, eating garbage and causing minor mayhem.

The bear, which CPW officials say is a year and a half old, has been accused of ransacking dumpsters and in one case, eating a hot tub cover.

“They seem to be in the hot tubs a lot,” said CPW district wildlife manager Tom Davies.

Davies said that bears are not “true” hibernators, and may wake up often during winter, or in some cases like this, never going to bed. The reason they go into hibernation, Davies said, is a lack of food available once the snow falls, stopping photosynthesis and plant growth for bears and their prey. However, when food is readily available, the bears find no reason to hibernate.

Because some Breckenridge residents and visitors have stopped securing their dumpsters, the young bears have been feasting non-stop. Davies urged residents to maintain bear awareness year-round, bear-proofing dumpsters and trash cans, avoiding littering and reporting bear sightings.

Davies gave assurance that the agency will try its best to trap and relocate the bear and not put it down given its young age.