Colorado Black Bear

photo courtesy of J. Wassink


The Colorado black bear is seen everywhere in the U.S. mountains and hills, anywhere there is a forest. From east to west and north to south, they are in every state.

Primarily plant and berry feeders, they have been known to wander into populated areas in search of food and trash.

In Colorado, the black bear hibernates from October until March or April.  They are very hungry before and after they go down for their long winter's nap.

So it is not unusual to see these basically nocturnal animals during the daytime hours.

The Colorado Black Bear can not only be black, but brown as well.  

They are fairly large animals, weighing from 200-400 pounds.  Black bear are not usually dangerous to humans, except a mother bear with cubs.

If you happen to come across a couple of cute baby bears, momma can't be far away.

So calmly turn and walk away.  Don't go anywhere near the cubs. Don't harass them or endanger them.  You will be very sorry you did.

The bears are very beautiful animals.  Their coats are sleek, eyes bright, cute little ears and nails fit for climbing trees and all sorts of things.

Some winters here in Colorado are harsh and the black bear stays asleep the entire season.

However, our winters have been mild lately and it is not unusual to see the bears coming out and testing the weather for a few mild days and then going back into their dens to sleep.

Living in Colorado for a while, we haven't seen a bear up close and personal.

We've seen sign during the spring, summer and fall, such as fencing bent down, scat (droppings), trash dragged and dumped around the mountain, etc.

It wasn't until last fall that we had our first close up look at a bear.

My husband and I had been house cleaning and Jim packed up the trash to take out and put in the shed.  (That's where we keep our garbage so the critters won't get into it).

Well, he put the bag out the side door to continue to the shed, got sidetracked, and there it sat.

Bedtime came around and we, and the dogs, had snuggled down to sleep.

Later in the night, Lady, our collie/husky mix, started going off at the side door, like someone was around the house.

I got up and turned on the side porch light, raised the blinds, and came face to face with a bear climbing over the fence to get to the trash bag.

Lucky the dogs and I were inside.

Such a gorgeous creature! Beautiful face with bright eyes and little ears and an intelligent look.  Sleek black coat and sharp black claws.

I ran in the bedroom and woke Jim up, he came stumbling out and looked at the bear.

All he could say was, "guess I'll have a mess to clean up in the morning," and went back to bed.

I was fascinated watching this big, healthy bruin as he climbed cautiously over the fence, with an eye on the garbage bag.

I will say he or she was very neat.  It sat down on the porch steps and ripped open the bag.

Using big paws, it rooted through the trash, hardly dumping anything on the ground. 

It found some goodies that it liked, cream cheese and yogurt containers, and proceeded to feast.

I kept watching the whole time and couldn't get over how clean and tidy this big guy or gal was.  Must have weighed about 300 pounds.

When dinner was over, the bear climbed back over the fence, leaving hardly a mess.

It went and laid down in between our vehicles and proceeded to wash itself, just like a cat!

Then it got up and ambled away down the driveway.

I was like a kid in a candy store watching this bear.  So fascinated that from start to finish must have been about and hour and a half.

Wish I had my camera charged up so I could have taken some really great photos. 

Maybe next time.


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