Rest and relocation: Bear living in Granby moved by officials
Granby’s resident black bear has been moved to a new home this week thanks to the efforts of local and wildlife officers.
With the assistance of Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Granby police captured the young bear Monday near the Granby Jones neighborhood.
According to Police Chief James Kraker, the bear was about 2 years old and had been living in town. Officers responded to this specific bear nightly for about a month, he added.
The bear, which had also been repeatedly sighted during the day, was living near a route used by children going to schools.
“When it was in people’s yards and garbage, it wasn’t something we could haze away,” Kraker said. “It pretty much had established this as its home and its food source as garbage.”
Wildlife officers tranquilized the bear for an injury-free relocation. A CPW spokesperson said the bear was released south of Interstate 70 in Eagle County.
“With a bear living in town, the consequences are not going to be good,” Kraker said. “It’s not going to be a great outcome for the bear ultimately with the amount of traffic we have and the amount of both human and domestic animal contact with that bear. We really felt it was unsafe for the bear to be in town.”
A second, larger bear has also been visiting Granby, according to Kraker. However, officers have had more success running this one off.
Kraker said the “hazing” deployed by officers includes firing non-lethal rounds or a Taser at the bear to create an uncomfortable environment while not injuring the animal. The second bear has usually moved on with those efforts.
In general, Granby has been seeing a lot more of this wildlife. Kraker recalled that bears used to be rarely seen and usually only on the outskirts of town, but that has changed.
“I would say the last few years we’ve seen an uptick,” Kraker said. “Ten years ago, we would get a bear or two … It used to be an event, in my experience, but now it’s not unusual.”
With more bears in Granby and the winter approaching, Kraker and wildlife officials are asking that people do their best to be bear aware.
CPW spokesperson Randy Hampton explained that bears are in hyperphagia, in which they feed almost constantly in preparation for the winter. Right now, the animals are spending up to 20 hours of the day trying to consume a daily 25,000 calories.
While there is plenty of natural food available for bears, abundant man-made sources can pull them into unsafe areas. This search can be dangerous for both humans and bears, so people should try to keep things like trash and birdfeeders out of the animals’ reach.
“It would certainly be helpful if people could help out with the trash,” Hampton said. “People have to do a really good job of making sure it’s not available.”
Simple human changes can help protect bears, such as replacing a normal garbage can with a bear proof one, not putting trash out until the morning of pickup, keeping food out of cars and doors locked, and bringing in bird feeders at night.
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