Bear visits campus, prompts reminder about bear safety

September 7, 2012

An adult bear visited campus Thursday morning in the Grandview neighborhood. CU Police, Boulder Police, Boulder open space rangers and the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife responded to the scene. Luckily, the bear wandered away from campus some time Thursday night.

After roaming around the area for a while, the bear settled next to a tree for approximately 30 minutes. It then scaled the tree shortly after noon and rested on a branch about 35 feet up, and remained there until some time Thursday night when it decided to come down and leave the area. 

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the bear was too high up in the tree to safely tranquilize.

In addition to the bear at CU, two other bears were spotted at different locations within one mile of campus Thursday. During the late summer and early fall months, bears enter their “hyperphagia stage” – a period of excessive eating to prepare for hibernation. Bears, which normally eat 8,000 calories a day, aim to consume about 20,000 calories a day during this period, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. During this season, bears can use paths and drainage ditches to travel from the mountains into the city limits of Boulder.

It’s important that students, faculty, staff and the larger Boulder community become familiar with bear safety tips. These can be found on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website at www.wildlife.state.co.us/bears. Among the tips:

  • Don’t feed bears, and don’t put out food for other wildlife that attracts bears.
  • Be responsible about trash and bird feeders.
  • Keep all bear-accessible windows and doors closed and locked, including home, garage and vehicle doors.
  • If you see a bear on campus, call 911. Stand still, stay calm and let the bear identify you and leave. Talk in a normal tone of voice. Be sure the bear has an escape route. If you see cubs, their mother is usually close by. Leave the area immediately.

Photo courtesy of The Daily Camera

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