BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Parks & Wildlife officers warned Breckenridge residents about two black bears that aren’t hibernating. One has been trapped, but the second is still roaming.

They say the juvenile bears were rummaging through garage and tearing up hot tub covers. CPW officials tell CBS4 the bears have torn or destroyed about a dozen covers in the area. They believe there’s something in the material attracting the bears.

Black bear (credit: Jeff Ulvedal)

CPW officials say bears are not “true” hibernators and wake up often during the winter. The bears hibernate because of the lack of food.

“The response to hibernate is based on the availability of food. Where the food coming from? Trash. This is something we’re seeing a lot of,” officials told CBS4 on Saturday.

Wildlife officials say some residents are not securing their dumpsters, giving the bear more to feast on during the winter. They urge those residents to be “bear aware” all year long and to bear-proof their trash cans.

Officials also point to salt licks meant to attract deer, elk and moose and fruit tress that are not cleaned up.

“If there’s a bear in your yard, the worst thing you can do is sit on your deck and watch the bear for an hour. That’s not responsible. It’s not good for the neighborhood and it’s not good for the bear,” officials said. “Our goal is to trap and rehabilitate these bears, to release them in the wild and have them remain there.”

LINK: Living With Bears

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