Residents of a Battlement Mesa apartment complex can rest a bit easier after the Division of Wildlife trapped and relocated a black bear that had been feeding from their dumpsters.
Randy Hampton with the D.O.W says, "we want this to be a somewhat uncomfortable process for the bear." The D.O.W trapped this three–year–old black bear near an apartment complex in battlement mesa where neighbors said the bear had been seen around the dumpsters for the last couple weeks, a fact that the D.O.W says is disturbing.
"As they get that steady diet they become more and more comfortable in those areas around people, eventually the bear begins to believe that that area is its territory and bears will occasionally will aggressively defend their territory," said Hampton.
This bear will be relocated but that's his first strike. Hampton says, "the bear has received ear tags tattoos to mark it, officers took a little bit of a health check on it, get a little bit of biological information." With the D.O.W's two strike policy, if the bear returns to the area officers will be forced to kill him.
According to the D.O.W last year was the busiest bear season on record for the state of Colorado. In the Grand Junction area 17 bears were relocated, seven had to be put down and 10 were killed on roads and highways. Wildlife officials say the bear season this year could go either way, but with wild berries ripening several weeks late and the amount of wildfire in the area bears could end up looking for food closer to the city.