I had a reminder recently that we do live among the wildlife.
I spotted a young bear rummaging through the trash in my neighborhood! Spring is the time for all of our four-legged friends to become active again including bears. It’s very important to be aware of your surroundings especially when you are hiking. It is also important to never approach, or feed the wildlife. Feeding them will make them come back and become dependent and humans for food endangering their survival.
We a have a moose family in Vail and they do tend to roam the streets in Vail from to time. It is exciting to see but very important to keep your distance and not bother them. Some tips to keep in mind if you encounter our Moose Family:
- Female moose (cows) are very protective of their young (calves) to the point of being dangerous if approached or caught off guard.
- Keep pets away as moose can get aggressive around them. Dogs running off-leash are particularly at risk as they resemble the moose’s natural predator, the wolf.
- Do not approach a moose. If charged by a moose, try to put a tree, boulder, vehicle or other large object in between you and the moose. If knocked to the ground, get up. Moose victims typically receive injury from stomping.
Here are some additional tips from the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife to help make sure your vacation in the Vail Valley is fun and safe!
Bears are intelligent, resourceful and amazing animals.
· Black is a species, not a color. In Colorado many black bears are blonde, cinnamon or brown.
· Over 90% of a bear’s natural diet is grasses, berries, fruits, nuts and plants. The rest is primarily insects and scavenged carcasses.
· Black bears are naturally shy, and very wary of people and other unfamiliar things. Their normal response to any perceived danger is to run away.
· In Colorado, most bears are active from mid-March through early November. When food sources dwindle they head for winter dens.
· With a nose that’s 100 times more sensitive than ours, a bear can literally smell food five miles away.
· Bears are very smart, and have great memories—once they find food, they come back for more.
· During late summer and early fall bears need 20,000 calories a day to gain enough weight to survive the winter without eating or drinking.
· Bears are not naturally nocturnal, but sometimes travel at night in hopes of avoiding humans
· Don’t feed bears, and don’t put out food for other wildlife that attracts bears.
· Be responsible about trash and bird feeders.
· Burn food off barbeque grills and clean after each use.
· Keep all bear-accessible windows and doors closed and locked, including home, garage and vehicle doors.
· Don’t leave food, trash, coolers, air fresheners or anything that smells in your vehicle.
Pick fruit before it ripens, and clean up fallen fruit.
· Talk to your neighbors about doing their part to be bear-responsible.
If You See a Bear
If a bear comes near your home, do your best to chase it away. Yell, blow a whistle, clap your hands, and make other loud noises. But never approach or corner a bear.
If the bear is acting aggressively, or becomes a threat to people, pets, livestock or property (other than trash cans), DIAL 911. If the bear is in the area and has become a nuisance, please call Town of Vail non-emergency number 970.479.2200 for assistance.