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CPW: Bear cub killed on Evergreen highway trying to get back to source of human food

“Do bird feeders kill bears? Does your trash kill bears? Yes, on both counts.”
Posted at 4:55 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 19:02:40-04

DENVER – Colorado Parks and Wildlife sent out yet another reminder Tuesday that it is not OK to feed bears after they found a bear cub that was hit and killed crossing a highway in Evergreen with a stomach full of bird seed and human food waste.

CPW said the bear cub was hit and killed trying to cross Highway 73 in Evergreen in order to get more human food.

“It died crossing a busy road to get unsecured trash, bird feeders & people intentionally feeding it,” CPW said.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the stomach of a bear cub killed on an Evergreen highway contained bird seed, fresh cantaloupe and other human food waste.

The agency reminds people multiple times each year not to hang bird feeders or leave their trash unsecured in bear country, as the mammals will forage for just about anything they can eat and won’t pass up easy food opportunities if humans are careless.

But once they become accustomed to human food, it is difficult for them to change their diets and habits, which often leads to human-bear encounters.

“Do bird feeders kill bears? Does your trash kill bears? Yes, on both counts,” CPW said. “That is the proximate cause of this 20-pound cub’s death, something we find with nearly every bear mortality in developed areas of the foothills west of Denver.”

The agency said that both intentional and unintentional feeding of bears concentrates them more in areas where they are likely to have human interactions. They advise against feeding any wildlife of any type.

CPW said that people should encourage their local officials to buy bear-proof trash containers for residents if they live in bear country.

“Be a responsible resident and remove bird feeders, secure your trash, protect backyard livestock with electric fencing and don’t feed Colorado’s wildlife.”

Last year, there were 517 reports made to CPW about bears entering people’s homes, 303 vehicle break-ins, and more than 5,300 calls about bears between April 1 and Dec. 31. About 1.7% of reported bear conflicts ended with the bear being euthanized.