I've been in receipt of some emails today from citizens in the Telluride and Mountain Village areas about a bear or two around. Come to find out, several members of the public have bird feeders out! Someone called the police, so now there is one complaint against a bear.
No one in these communities should put out bird feeders of any kind, any time of year. The birds are fine. The feeders attract bears, and other wildlife. A fed bear is a dead bear!
Right now, everyone must take down all bird feeders, lock up garbage in garages and keep the garage door closed. No one should cook outside; sorry, no barbecuing outdoors! Dogs and cats should never be fed outside. No compost piles, ever!
If the bear comes up onto your porch or deck, close your windows and doors. If it’s night, turn on all the outside lights. A radio can be placed outside, and played loudly. Bang pots and pans together from a safe distance to scare the bear – stay right by your door so you can get inside. If it’s in your yard, not harming anything, just watch from indoors. Wildlife can become used to people constantly trying to scare them away. Do not approach a bear. You can honk the horn on your car. Leave dogs out at night – they will bark, warning you something is around, and scare the bear. Bears don't like dogs – they will stay away from them, as long as no food is out to tempt them to come closer.
There is no guarantee Colorado Parks and Wildlife will relocate a bear(s). The agency is under budget restraints. It’s easier and cheaper to shoot a bear than trap and relocate. Residents of these communities live in wildlife central. Everyone, take responsibility for your actions. Calling the police or Parks and Wildlife every time you see a bear doesn't help the bear.
And, to the management of the towns of Telluride and Mtn. Village, how about making it illegal to put out birdfeeders and feed dogs and cats outside? Set up some hefty fines that could support wildlife educational programs or habitat conservation.
– Brenda Miller, Roubideau Rim Wildlife Rescue, Olathe