Community members are encouraged to secure trash and animals

Community members are encouraged to secure trash and livestock

With bears coming out of hibernation, the community can expect to see increased bear activity in Boulder. Community members may encounter black bears from time to time, as Boulder is home to sensitive wildlife habitats where bears and other wildlife species, including mountain lions, find food and shelter.

If community members see bears inside the city, do not follow them or disturb them. Call the city's non-emergency dispatch number at 303-441-3333. If you see bears on open space, follow these tips from Open Space and Mountain Parks.

Community members are encouraged to help protect bears by ensuring trash containers are locked, because bears that come into town for food and find it are more likely to stay. If they stay, bears are at risk of being killed for a number of reasons, including being hit by vehicles, being electrocuted by power poles, ingesting harmful chemicals and losing their natural fear of people, which may result in euthanizing by wildlife officers.

To help protect bears, the city requires bear-resistant trash containers west of Broadway and south of Sumac Avenue. Bear-resistant containers are required everywhere in the city if trash and compost are put out the night before pickup. With increased bear activity reported east of Broadway in recent years, community members in this area are also encouraged to use bear-resistant trash and compost containers and store their waste in an enclosed garage or shed. Community members should contact their waste hauler for bear-resistant trash and compost containers if they don’t have them.  

Community members should also be aware that livestock, fruit trees and bird feeders can attract bears. In the past few years there has been an increase in the number of goats preyed on by bears. Keep goats, chickens and bees in secure, protected locations. Hummingbird feeders are also easily accessible and calorically rich for bears, and it is recommended to remove bird feeders while bears are active. Learn more at