Denver sees uptick in bear activity as winter approaches

Last week, wildlife officers relocated a bear from a populated area of the city.

The Denver metro area has been seeing an increase in bear activity within the city, and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife say that while it may be alarming, it is not out of the ordinary. 

Last week, wildlife officers relocated a bear from a populated area of the city. 

CPW says that the sighting reports are increasing from locals, especially during springtime through August. 

"Bears can show up in unusual locations and generate lots of calls to our offices, at any time of year but especially in the fall as untapped food sources become more appealing," said CPW Northeast Region Manager Mark Leslie. "We evaluate every call based on the location and behavior of a bear and will relocate or remove bears when appropriate and feasible."

During late summer and early fall, bears are in hyperphagia. Hyperphagia is when bears are prepping for hibernation, spending up to 20 hours a day to consume 20,000 or more calories per day. 

Due to the need for more food, bears are seeking out new food sources within the city. 

Young bears could venture into the city due to establishing a territory or losing food in their traditional forage areas. These urban areas have unsecured trash cans, bird feeders, pet food and gardens, making the city desirable. 

CPW says that bears in urban areas are difficult to manage because there are not a lot of natural population checks, so sometimes they end up being managed by cars and conflicts.

"When we move one, there are very few places on the Front Range of Colorado that will not put them in contact with humans or the potential for conflict," Leslie says. 

CPW says that if you see a bear within the city to first and foremost, remain calm. Make sure to take your pets inside and contact them or your local enforcement agency.