It’s been an active year in bear country.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife have received more than 3,800 bear-incident reports so far in 2019 – and counting. This number is expected to grow as bears enter hyperphagia, a phase of excessive eating. During this time of year, bears typically spend up to 20 hours a day searching for 20,000 calories per day or more.

Bear-incident reports consisted of bears attacking people, hungry bears breaking into freezers for ice cream, bears stealing a pot dispensary dumpster, multiple break-in sprees, and a bear chasing a hiker. One couple even fought off an attacking mama bear and her cub by throwing punches and swatting the bears with a baseball bat.

While wildlife officials have received an alarming number of reports so far this year, many residents still continue to fail to report human-bear related interactions. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, this familiarity leads to reliance on human-food sources, as well as increased interactions.

As summer comes to an end and bears gear up for hibernation in their relentless search for food, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding local residents and visitors to be extra “bear aware.” Lock up all attractants. Secure your trash, take down bird feeders, lock your doors, and close your windows.

For more tips on doing your part to prevent human-bear conflicts and keeping Colorado bears wild, click here.

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