BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Wildlife officers hope a mother bear and her two cubs will return to higher ground Tuesday night.
The family has spent the day in a tree in a Boulder neighborhood. The mother bear has previously been tagged so it could end badly for the bears.
In Colorado’s two strikes rule if the mother bear has to be relocated again, wildlife officers have to put her down. That’s why they’re hoping she and her cubs stay up in the tree until after dark and then leave town.
The mother bear and her two cubs were first spotted about 9:30 a.m. behind Laura DeLuca’s house.
“They like this tree. They spent two days here in May,” DeLuca said.
Wildlife officers say they like the tree, but they like the trash even more. While DeLuca has a bear-proof trash container, many of her neighbors don’t. The city doesn’t require bear-proof containers.
“The really important thing is that people understand the reason she’s here is because of the trash,” Jennifer Churchill with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.
Churchill said the sow was first tagged and relocated two years ago.
“She’s come back in and now she has two cubs with her,” Churchill said. “So she’s teaching these bad behaviors to her young as well.”
Officers were using noise-makers in hopes of keeping the bears in the tree until dark. Churchill said they can’t continue to relocate a nuisance bear and the cubs may not be old enough to survive on their own.
“We can’t just keep moving bears into other bears’ territory. (It’s a) heartbreaking situation. We certainly hope she can make it and these cubs can make it as well,” Churchill said.
The bears are among six in the neighborhood. It’s the time of year bears are fattening up for hibernation. They need to take in 20,000 calories a day. Wildlife officers hope the case serves as a reminder to everyone to not make it easy for bears to get food in town.