By Matt Kroschel

KREMMLING, Colo. (CBS4) –  Dozens of bears have already been euthanized across the state as a wave of recent bear conflicts continues.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife managers say they have responded to home invasions, close encounters and an attack on a sleeping camper in Boulder Count on July 9.

(credit: CBS)

So far this year, 34 bears have been put down statewide.

Over the weekend in Durango a bear was able to get inside a home making a big mess in the kitchen. Durango Bear Aware provided these pictures of the aftermath.

(credit: Durango Bear Aware)

(credit: Durango Bear Aware)

“Bears are just doing what comes naturally to them,” said area Wildlife Manager Perry Will of Glenwood Springs. “They are driven by hunger and instinct; and when their natural food sources become scarce like we’ve seen with the recent dry spell in some areas, they look for other sources. That brings them into communities where they easily find all kinds of things to eat.”

Perry Will (credit: CBS)

With the current bear population in the state conservatively estimated between 17,000 – 20,000 and the human population at about 5.5 million, wildlife officials say human/bear conflicts remain a primary concern.

(credit: CBS)

In a news release Monday, CPW stressed the need for education about bear country.

RELATED: Bear Spends Nearly 6 Hours Inside Home While Owner Slept

“Despite years of information and education outreach, trash storage ordinances in communities with significant bear activity and efforts to reduce bear populations in high conflict areas, interactions continue to occur and make headlines,” CPW public information officer Mike Porras said.

LINK: How You Can Help Prevent Dangerous Bear Conflicts

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.


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