Black Bear Discovered in the Middle of Colorado State University Campus

by Samantha Whidden

Not what you would expect on a college campus, a black bear was seen making her around the heart of Colorado State University on Friday (September 16th). 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported that its officers were able to relocate a black bear that climbed up into a tree on the Colorado State University campus in Forts Collins. It was revealed that around 6 a.m., residents began reporting a bear walking around the Old Town neighborhood in Fort Collins. Wildlife officials then started monitoring the area. However, around 7:30 a.m., the animal made its way to the college campus. 

The wildlife organization further revealed that officers arrived on the scene where they located the black bear, which weighed approximately 200 pounds. The officials then tranquilized the animal and lowered it from the tree. It was then released into its natural habitat in the afternoon. Colorado Parks and Wildlife stated that there were no serious injuries to the bear. Other than being exhausted due to the tranquilizer. 

While speaking about the incident, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Assistant Area Wildlife Manager, Brandon Muller, revealed what may have caused the black bear to wander into the area. “As bears start to prepare for hibernation and hunt for food, Coloradans may see more bear activity in urban areas. When bears become too comfortable around humans, they can destroy property or even become a threat to human safety.” 

Colorado Wildlife Officials Reveal That Black Bears Are Entering Hyperphagia & Preparing For Winter

Meanwhile, Colorado Parks and Wildlife shared that black bears in the state are now entering hyperphagia. This means the animals will spend up to 20 hours a day trying to eat more than 20,000 calories. This is to fatten up in the winter.

The Colorado wildlife organization further explains that most conflicts between people and black bears may be traced to easily accessible human food. It was noted that trash, fruit trees, shrubs, or other attractants also attracts the bears. “When bears become too comfortable around humans, they can destroy property or even become aggress toward humans.” 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife went on to remind Coloradans to do their part to be bear aware. The organization recommended properly store all trash and lock bear-accessible windows and doors. Other advice to keep bears away is to put garbage out on the morning of pickup. Remove bird feeds from outdoor areas. Secure compost piles. Clean grills after each use. And clean up thoroughly after picnics in the yard or on the deck. 

The Coloradoan shared that officials asked residents to avoid the area so they could remove the black bear. However, the incident drew an estimated crowd of around 100 people. “With all the traffic and people around the bear was very aware of what was going on,” Muller continued. “[She was] super aware of what was going on with us. It was a little difficult but the tree was perfect and we were glad that we got the bear down safely and that everyone was safe.”