GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A mother bear and her two cubs were reportedly killed Sunday night when they were hit by traffic on Highway 82 in south Glenwood near the Roaring Fork Marketplace.
Kevin Wright, area wildlife officer with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, confirmed that he and other wildlife officers responded Monday morning to pick up the bodies of the bears, which had apparently wandered off the highway before dying after the incident.
He did not have any details on the accident itself or whether a single or multiple vehicles were involved. According to one passer-by who contacted the Post Independent by email, the accident happened sometime before 10 p.m. Sunday.
No information was received from the Glenwood Springs Police Department on the incident.
Wright said it does point up the continued need for people to take precautions with trash, fruit and other potential food that can attract bears into area towns, partly due to a limited midsummer berry crop.
“We’re almost in serviceberry failure, at least from mid-valley down,” Wright said of the primary food source for bears this time of year. “As you get closer to Aspen, we have a few more serviceberries, but definitely not a bumper crop like last year.”
Later-season food sources, such as chokecherries and acorns, are “looking good,” Wright said, but are not quite ripe.
“The major issue we’re having all throughout the valley is with trash, just unsecured trash,” he said. “It’s bringing the bears in, and keeping them there and causing conflict.”
Carbondale on Monday morning showed evidence of bear activity in the Crystal Village neighborhood near Miners Park, where several trash cans were overturned.
“If people would just control their trash and use actual certified bear-proof containers, it would help a lot,” Wright said. “I would also encourage people as their fruit ripens on trees to pick the fruit and pick up any fruit off the ground.
“Otherwise you’re going to have bears up in the trees eating your fruit and breaking your branches,” he said.
Most towns in the valley, including Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, ask that people wait until the morning of pick-up to put trash out, rather than doing it the night before. Trash cans should either be kept inside a garage or secure, enclosed area. It trash is kept outside, it should be in a certified bear-proof container, according to Parks and Wildlife.