The prognosis does not look good for a mama bear and her two yearlings that have been breaking into homes around Durango.
“This is a dangerous situation,” said Joe Lewandowski, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “These bears are not afraid of people and have been coming pretty close to some folks. We ask if they’re seen, for people to call our office.”
Over the weekend, a mother bear and her two yearlings broke into a home through a partially opened window in the SkyRidge subdivision around 1 a.m. Saturday, rummaging through trash and causing some property damage.
Officers with the Durango Police Department responded and chased the bears off, Lewandowski said. However, the bears tried to come back later.
As a result, wildlife officers set a trap near the property. If caught, Lewandowski said, it’s likely all three bears will be euthanized.
“We’ve very concerned about the bear behavior in what could happen in these neighborhoods,” he said.
Lewandowski said the bears caused problems last year in the SkyRidge, Timberline and Whispering Pines neighborhoods.
Lewandowski said the neighborhoods have a lot of easy attractants for bears, including unsecured trash and unfenced beehives, which draw bears into displaying unwanted behavior.
“Officers drove up there yesterday (Monday), and there’s trash cans out during the holiday when there’s no trash pickup,” Lewandowski said. “People just aren’t paying attention up there.”
As a result, the bears have been accustomed to breaking into homes and garages, which is why relocation wouldn’t work. They’d get into the same problems elsewhere, Lewandowski said.
“They’ve learned this behavior, and they’ll continue this behavior,” he said.
If caught and euthanized, Lewandowski said they would be the first bears to be euthanized this year.
CPW reminds people to secure their trash, make sure windows are closed and locked at night or when not at home, and keep garage doors closed and vehicle windows rolled up and locked.
It’s also recommended to remove bird feeders during bear season and use electric fencing around chicken coops or beehives.