ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers captured and euthanized a bear roaming around Arvada Thursday morning.
“It’s pretty exciting. I’ve lived in Arvada my entire life and I’ve never had a bear anywhere in the residential area,” said Arvada resident Tamara Moloney.
The bear at one point was on the grounds of Ralston Valley High School, which was put on lockout. Meiklejohn Elementary was also put on lockout. The lockouts were lifted after the bear was captured.
Officers tranquilized the bear while it was in an irrigation canal along a greenbelt and had to pull the bear out of the water. At one point it appeared that the bear had lunged at a female wildlife officer while she was in the creek. Nobody was injured.
“It’s exciting; my poor kids are at school and I’m on a bear chase,” resident Jodi Steinwagner said.
“We’ve had coyotes and foxes in our backyard before, so it’s just more of the wildlife I guess in Colorado; we get to enjoy it,” resident Heather Stratton said.
Last Friday two bears were seen in the area of West 64th Avenue and Indiana Street in Arvada. Police believe one wandered into Wheat Ridge and was tranquilized on Sunday near Interstate 70 and Marshall Street. The other was last seen in northwest Arvada. There is no indication yet if the bear found on Thursday is the same bear.
“There had been two bears hanging around the neighborhood. Arvada (police) did a reverse 911 to let people know,” Jennifer Churchill with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said. “So I think at this point, for now, the bears are out of Arvada.”
In best interest of the bear wildlife officials euthanized the 15-year-old sow. According to Churchill the bear was in very poor health and wouldn’t have survived much longer in the wild.
A bear also showed up in Evergreen Thursday morning but later wandered off.
Churchill said a lack of food in the foothills is sending the bears into more populated areas to search for food. Bears need to eat 20,000 calories a day to prepare for hibernation.
“Take down your bird feeders. Don’t put out your trash until the morning of pickup, don’t feed your pets outside. And make sure that you’re not leaving out any attractants that are going to make bears want to make your neighborhood home,” said Churchill.