Bears have always been a part of life in Boulder.

Urban bear activity typically increases in late summer and early fall as bears enter the stage of hyperphagia, a period of excessive eating, to fatten up for hibernation.

This fall there have been two families of bears in the city, spending much of their time south of Arapahoe Road in neighborhoods including the Hill, Table Mesa, Martin Acres and Chautauqua. One of the female bears has already been relocated by wildlife officers. Since relocating a bear twice is not a wildlife management option, we ask community members to be extra vigilant in removing food attractants from your property to protect both yourself and the bears.

The city encourages community members, including University of Colorado Boulder students, to ensure trash containers are locked, per city ordinance. In addition, follow these steps to stay safe and help make your property unattractive to bears:

  • Use bear-resistant trash and compost bins, and make sure latches are secure and bins are not overflowing. Contact your waste hauler if you need to order or replace a bin.
  • All trash and compost containers put out the night before collection are required to be in bear resistant containers. This applies to the entire city.
  • Pick ripe fruit from trees and don’t allow it to collect on the ground. If you would like to donate the fruit from your trees, or need help harvesting, contact Community Fruit Rescue.
  • Secure livestock, goats and chickens within an enclosure or electric fence.
  • Remove food wrappers, coffee cups and any item with the slightest odor from vehicles and ensure the doors are locked.
  • Remove bird feeders and clean up spilled seeds on the ground.
  • Keep pets indoors, especially at night, and do not leave pet food or dishes outdoors.
  • Clean up and store outdoor grills inside after use.
  • Be aware of dog leash restrictions on hiking trails.
  • Report bear sightings

For more information visit www.boulderwildlifeplan.net.