FEDERAL HEIGHTS, Colo. (CBS4) – A 270 pound bear wandered into a neighborhood near Federal Heights on Monday morning and spent almost an hour hanging around.
Copter4 spotted the bear wandering through a backyard of a home at 8361 Shoshone and stopping to rest at about 7:30 a.m. The family has children who play in the backyard. A few minutes later it climbed a fence and then was trotting down a sidewalk.
“I’ve lived out here 17 years, never a bear out here,” resident Kevin Reynolds said.
“It was kind of scary be this is the first time there is a bear in the neighborhood,” resident Noimi Aguirre said.
Wildlife officials tranquilized the bear and it fell asleep in a backyard at 84th and Shoshone after hopping another fence. They then took the animal into the front yard so neighbors could get a look at it.
Authorities with the Division of Parks & Wildlife told CBS4 it’s very early in the season to be seeing a bear in Denver’s suburbs.
“There are canals that go all the way up to the foothills and the mountains. We have drainage areas, we have ditches and we have greenbelts that we put throughout town. And it’s part of what makes Colorado and the metro area so beautiful but it also provides habitat for wildlife,” said Jennifer Churchill, spokeswoman for the Parks & Wildlife division.
Wildlife officials plan to take the bear back into the wild after checking on his health.
Drought concerns could mean more bears may head into towns and cities in Colorado during the warm months this year.
Parents should keep a close eye on their younger children when they play outside.
Last Thursday a 200 pound bear was tranquilized in Boulder after it was spotted in a tree near the University of Colorado campus. It also was relocated into the wild. (Full Story)
In Colorado bears get two strikes against them before they’re put down. Experts say they best thing to do is not let wildlife get into people-provided food. Keep trash secure and dog and bird food indoors.