Spring's Arrival Brings First Bear Sighting

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Aspen, Colo. (AP) Springtime in the Colorado mountains doesn't necessarily bring only flowers, birds and bees.

It can bring out the bears, too.

It’s early for bears to be emerging from hibernation. The snow is still deep in the mountains and temperatures are mostly below freezing.

But a woman in Pitkin County reported Thursday that a small bear had been on her porch, peeking in her window.

A sheriff's department animal safety officer told the woman to spray the bear with a hose to discourage it from returning.

Last year, the Aspen area was besieged by bears as the animals dug through trash cans and invaded homes looking for food.

A spring freeze followed by dry weather wiped out much of the bears' natural fare: berries and acorns.

Statewide, the Colorado Division of Wildlife killed a record 59 bears that threatened people or had to be moved more than once last year.

The previous record was 55 bears in 2002.

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