CONIFER, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Parks & Wildlife is issuing a warning to residents in the foothills to “bear-proof” their homes.

Bears are entering a phase called hyperphagia when their primary goal is to gain as much weight as possible before then den for the winter.

(credit: Jason Gallagher)

Bears target any source of open food. From dog food that is left out to trash. Even open doors and windows can become entry points for bears to get an easy meal.

Conifer resident Tony Pirotelli saw a family of bears ripping through his dumpster earlier this week.

(credit: Jason Gallagher)

“This was my mistake for putting it (the trash) out earlier than normal. The bear outsmarted me,” says Pirotelli.

Pirotelli tried scaring the bears away, but he says they’ve been back several times because they know there is food there.

“I saw a dark spot here many weeks ago and I’m like ‘that’s unusual.’ It was a bear lying down sleeping (next to the dumpster),” Pirotelli adds.

(credit: CBS)

The warning from wildlife officials is intended to protect people and bears. Problem bears often start just as hungry bears who are trying to find food and get too comfortable near people.

CPW has posted an online checklist here for homeowners to go through to secure their homes.

 

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