Town’s summertime visitors emerging from hibernation

At least one bear back in town

It’s been a very rude awakening for at least one bear in Crested Butte this spring.

 

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A large 325-pound black bear has been spotted in town after emerging from his winter slumber. Marshals are hoping to capture and re-locate the bear.
“This bear hibernated in town near Houston Lumber,” says Crested Butte chief marshal Tom Martin, noting that this bear spent most of last summer and fall in town. “The normal hazing methods haven’t been effective. We’ve been in contact with the DOW (Colorado Department of Wildlife) and we’re going to get the bear trap up here.”
The bear has been emerging for a few minutes each day since last Tuesday and has been seen perusing the alleys near restaurants in search of food.
Martin says this bear is the only one that’s been spotted in town so far this spring. Last summer, Crested Butte, Mt. Crested Butte and surrounding areas were besieged with reports of bears searching for food. A male black bear was euthanized in Skyland in August 2007 after it entered a home.
Martin says they hope to capture the bear soon. “Ideally, we’ll capture it, find a new home for it, and it won’t come back,” he says. However Martin notes that there is some concern that the animal won’t be lured into a trap because the animals tend to eat more vegetation, like berries, when they first emerge from hibernation.
Martin asks citizens to avoid the bear trap if they notice it and to keep their dogs on a leash.
Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte have recently adopted ordinances that require both residents and businesses to acquire and use bear-resistant trashcans if they cannot store trash indoors. These containers are designed to keep bears and other wildlife out.
In addition, the ordinances forbid people from leaving things out that will lure animals, such as dirty barbecue grates and bird feeders.  Crested Butte South has also adopted similar rules.
For more information on living in bear country, go to the DOW website at http://wildlife.state.co.us; go to the education tab, select Living with Wildlife and click on the bold “Living with Wildlife in Bear Country” bullet-point for more information.

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