BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Two bears who made an appearance at a wedding west of Boulder on Saturday returned two days later, just in time to be captured on camera by a TV crew.
The crew was one of CBS4’s, and the bears got very close but were in no way aggressive.
Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife say bears in the state are looking for food right now before their hibernation periods begin. Dumpsters and trash cans are easy targets.
“This is their pre-hibernation period. They are starting to eat more. In fact they will eat up to 20,000 calories a day. So that requires a little bit more effort on their part,” said Parks and Wildlife spokesman Matt Robbins.
The visit on Saturday was made by two cubs while a wedding was going on at the Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Center at Boulder Creek. That’s the venue in Boulder Canyon that was formerly the Red Lion Inn.
“The bear probably got more attention than the bride and groom,” resident Betty Harris told CBS4.
The bears got within 1,000 feet of the guests at the wedding. Boulder County Sheriff’s Deputy Phil Jarvis then shot the cubs with bean bags to scare them away.
“It’s not cruel, it just gives them a good little sting so they remember ‘People aren’t friendly. I’m going to stay away from people,’ ” Jarvis said.
That apparently didn’t work because on Monday CBS4 witnessed that the animals were back — this time with mom — and trying to get inside the same dumpster they had been trying to get into two days before.
“There’s no way to stop them,” said Alfred Schock, who spends a lot of time in the canyon. “They’ve learned that this is food in this neck of the woods, so they’re going to come around.”
Parks and Wildlife officials said if the bears become a persistent problem they could relocate the cubs or, as a last resort, euthanize them if they become aggressive.
Harris said she feels bad for the bears.
“What choice do they have, you know? We’ve moved into their territory. We keep building and building in their territory and we take away their food sources, so what are they going to do but look for food wherever they can find it.”