Your actions can save the life on an Estes Valley Bear. Each Spring, hungry Black Bears wake from winter hibernation in need if quality food in quantity and their quest for calories is limitless! It’s up to us to help Bears focus their efforts on finding good, naturally available Bear food, instead of allowing them to eat leftover human food and waste products.
Here’s what you need to know:
Black bears have big appetites! They are mostly vegetarian but they aren’t picky. Hungry Bears will eat just about anything. Sadly – Our trash is their food so Pack it in! Lock It Down! and Pack it out! and Leave no trace! Make it your rule to protect and save wildlife. Use only Bear and Wildlife-Safe trash containers.
Black bears are nosey! They are curious and have an amazing sense of smell. A Black Bear can smell food from five miles away!
Black bears are busybodies! They can be active anytime, anywhere, day or night.
Black bears are really smart! They quickly learn to identify food, packaging, and containers. (When there’s food in your car, it becomes a container!) Once bears find an easy meal, you can be assured they’ll be back for more.
Black bears are naturally shy. They usually avoid people but once conditioned to human food, they can and may become aggressive.
Human actions can and often do alter “good bear” behavior. Bears conditioned to human food and trash are drawn closer to homes and businesses than is good for them or us.
Do Your Part to Keep Bears Wild: Store any and all trash in a secure place or use a bear-resistant container. NEVER leave food, food wrappers, packed coolers, pet food or pet food packaging, dirty diapers, or anything left-over from any kind of food or human waste in your car or in an unsecured area or container. Burn off grills, remove soiled foil, and be sure to safely dispose of waste.
Stop a bear from getting a food/trash reward: Set off your car alarm, let loose with an air horn, make big noise with a wooden spoon and a metal cooking pot, or just get really big and really loud. A bear will run from the noise and hopefully remember the negative consequence of “bad bear” behavior.
REMEMBER: Because of us humans, Bears that have developed “nuisance” behaviors or that are repeat offenders cannot be relocated and are killed. We are the keepers and it is up to us to honor, respect, protect and preserve our wonderful park and all of its inhabitants. Be aware: Save a Bear! Mother Nature and all of the local residents thank you.