Keeping ‘dumpster divers’ at bay: Springtime bear safety update

  • Published
  • By Brian Mihlbachler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service natural resources manager
  • U.S. Air Force Academy

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Spring is here and the region’s Black bears are leaving their hibernation and looking for meals.  

If bears found food in trash containers near your home or office last year before hibernating, it's probably the first place they will return to this spring.  If it happens to be a returning sow with cubs, she’s educating the next generation of dumpster divers. 

Access to your trash and food habituates bears to being comfortable around people, so close and latch the doors to your bear-resistant dumpsters or tote-receptacles. This protects you and the bears, as medicine, chemicals, plastics and other household trash can injure or kill a bear.  

Residents without a bear-resistant dumpster must secure their trash in a garage, or other enclosed area until collection day. 

Call Hunt Housing maintenance at 719-867-9675 to report a bear-resistant dumpster needing repair in the Pine Valley or Douglass Valley housing areas 

Call the 10 Civil Engineering Squadron at 719-333-2790 for non-housing bear-resistant container repairs, and the 10th Security Forces Squadron at 719-333-2000 for immediate bear problems.  

Call the 10th CES Natural Resources at 719-333-3308 to report a bear sighting. 

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