GRAND JUNCTION — Calls about bears roaming in Colorado’s residential areas decreased in the past year, but the number of animals that were euthanized increased, officials said.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife department received 4,943 bear reports last year, down from 5,369 in 2019, The Daily Sentinel reports.
But wildlife officials had to kill 120 bears last year and relocate 89, up from 92 euthanizations and 44 relocations the previous year.
Garbage continues to be the chief reason bears are attracted to neighborhoods. Trash was cited in a third of bear reports last year, which was consistent with 2019 when garbage played a role in a nearly a third of calls, officials said.
Securing trash and feeding birds only in winter are the most important steps people can take, officials said.
Bird feeders attracted bears in 411 reports in 2020.
Unsecured chicken coops lured 254 bears last year, while livestock was noted as the attraction in 391 cases. Beehives drew bears in 74 cases. Other cases involved barbecue grills, fruit trees, pet food and compost.
Bears invading closed homes, cabins, other dwellings and garages accounted for 362 calls. The break-ins are the leading reason for bears to be killed in the state, the parks and wildlife department said.
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