LITTLETON, COLO. – After receiving a report of a bear hit by a car near Ken Caryl Avenue and Kipling Parkway in Littleton, Colorado around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers received a second call of a bear in a tree in a residential area not far from the intersection. Officers from CPW and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office monitored the bear throughout the evening, suspecting it was the same bear that had been hit by a car. When the bear was still in the tree in the morning, the decision was made to tranquilize and evaluate the bear.
“It’s not typical for a bear to stay treed all night long in an urban environment like this,” said CPW District Wildlife Manager Jerrie McKee. “Oftentimes they pass through quickly. We suspected there was a reason that the bear didn’t come down the tree on its own overnight.”
With help from the West Metro Fire Protection District, CPW was able to tranquilize the bear on Tuesday morning. The bear was cinnamon brown in color, 6 – 8 years old and between 210 – 220 pounds. After assessing the bear throughout the day and seeing no obvious signs of injury, the bear was released late Tuesday night into more suitable bear habitat.
McKee thanked the West Metro Fire Protection District, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Ken Caryl Rangers for their assistance, as well as local residents who were respectful and kept their distance while officers worked to remove the bear from the tree.
McKee said it was a good reminder that bears are extremely active while in hyperphagia, as they spend up to 20 hours a day trying to eat more than 20,000 calories to fatten up for winter. “Residents should put their trash out in the morning, not the night before,” said McKee, “and bring in bird feeders until after Thanksgiving. Preventing bears from getting a food reward is key to keeping them from becoming habituated to human food sources.”
Resources for Living with Bears and being Bear Aware are available on CPW’s website.