John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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August 21, 2009
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Wildlife officers relocate bear from Glenwood Springs area

GLENWOOD SPRINGS - Colorado Division of Wildlife officers tranquilized and relocated a young female black bear from the Glenwood Springs area Thursday afternoon.

DOW officers first received a call of a black bear that had approached a sliding glass door of a home south of Glenwood Springs near the CMC road. Officers responded and were able to chase the bear by shooting rubber buckshot and bean bags at the animal. However, officers were called about an hour later and told that the young bear returned to the area.

According to DOW spokesman Randy Hampton, officers were able to tree the bear, tranquilize it and relocate it Thursday evening. He said that this was a good example of how DOW officers can handle a situation before a bear becomes a problem.

"This probably saved the bear's life," Hampton said. "She could have been down on Highway 82 by night and could have possibly been hit by a car. This is a situation where it definitely gives this bear an opportunity to be a bear by relocating it."

An increase in bear incidents has caused DOW officers to euthanize five bears in the Roaring Fork Valley this year. Four have been near Aspen, the most recent of which was a black bear that was killed by DOW officers Wednesday night after officers suspected that it was the same bear that attacked an Aspen woman inside her home Tuesday night.

The amount of bear incidents has kept DOW officers very busy, some working as much as 20 hours a day, according to Hampton, just trying to keep up with all the bear calls.

"It's insane what is going on with bears right now," Hampton said. "But the officers are dedicated and are working hard. They are doing everything they can to protect these animals."

This is at least the third black bear the DOW has relocated from the Glenwood Springs area in the past two months, including the bear that walked into the Hotel Colorado in early July.

That bear was relocated to an area in the Uncompahgre National Forest, south of Montrose, but was killed within four days after the 2-year-old female bear began raiding trash cans in the Gateway area.

Hampton did not know exactly where Thursday's bear would be located. However, Hampton said that DOW officers prefer to relocate bears at least 75 miles from the spot of the capture. He added that they will try to cross a major highway or natural barrier in an attempt to discourage the bear from returning to the area.

jgardner@postindependent.com


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The Post Independent Updated Aug 21, 2009 01:20AM Published Aug 21, 2009 01:18AM Copyright 2009 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.