Entries in Black Bear (4)


Bear Epidemic Expected to Worsen in the West

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Across the West, communities are in the midst of a black bear epidemic this summer as the hungry critters venture into backyards and neighborhoods in a search for food.

Cities like Vail, Colo., have received more than 50 calls about problem bears in August alone.  Bear calls are also skyrocketing in places like Aspen, Colo.  Police there recorded 292 calls about bears in August, compared to only 38 last year, according to the Aspen Times.

The bear encounters have largely been fueled by a search for food -- something bears will need a lot more of as they bulk up for winter hibernation.  In other words, the problem is about to get worse.

“They’re looking at trying to consume 20,000 calories a day.  They will spend 20 of 24 hours a day looking for food,” said Randy Hampton with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department.

It’s bad news for people like Melissa Carroll of Eagle, Colo.  She’s endured five separate bear invasions in her home this year, including one face-to-face encounter on her back porch.  The bear tore its claws into a back door trying to escape, leaving behind serious damage.

“Seeing one right like that, it took me a long time to calm down,” she told ABC News.

The wave of bruin break-ins can partly be blamed on severe drought.  A lack of rain means natural foods are scarce, sending bears hunting for an easy alternative: people food.  Bears have been spotted breaking into trash cans, searching for any calories they can get.  One bear even broke into a candy shop near Estes Park, Colo., to steal sweets.

The bad news for bears is that human foods get them accustomed to people, which inevitably leads to trouble.

“Generally the bear has to be put down once it becomes aggressive,” Hampton says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cape Cod's Elusive Black Bear Captured

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WELLFLEET, Mass.) -- Summer season on Cape Cod just started during Memorial Day weekend but the party is already over for the Cape's most famous, four-legged visitor. The 200-pound black bear who became the most well-known resident summering on Cape Cod has been captured and transported away, the Cape Cod Times reports.

Wellfleet, Mass., police confirmed to the paper that the bear was captured Monday night after a sighting earlier that day that reenergized their search. Officials also reportedly heightened their search after becoming concerned that tourists and locals were driving around in search of the bear on their own.

The bear first appeared over Memorial Day weekend and was spotted more than a dozen times. It is believed to have reached the Cape by swimming approximately 500 feet across the Cape Cod Canal.

Officials did not release details of the bear's capture or where it will be relocated.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Black Bear Summers on Cape Cod

FIle photo. Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CAPE COD, Mass.) -- A 200-pound black bear has become the most well-known resident summering on Cape Cod.

The bear first appeared over Memorial Day weekend and has now been spotted more than a dozen times. It is believed to have reached the Cape by swimming approximately 500 feet across the Cape Cod Canal.

Officials say research dating back to the 1700s indicates it is the first bear to appear on the Cape, and in what has become a prerequisite for all animals on the run it already has its own Twitter account with more than 1,300 followers.

“My affair with Cape Cod will not end #IAmHome,” @BearSwimmer tweeted Thursday.

Unfortunately for the bear, if wildlife officials have their way his vacation might be coming to an abrupt end. Now that the bear has reached the end of the Cape officials say they may try to immobilize it and move it to an area where there are other bears.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Alaska Woman Punches Black Bear in Nose to Save Dog

Design Pics/Philippe Widling/ Thinkstock(JUNEAU, Alaska) -- Brooke Collins let her animal instincts take over last week when she lunged at a black bear that had scooped up her dog and popped it on the nose.

"I was screaming to startle the bear and ran up to it thinking if I got close to it, it would run off, but I got within inches and it still wouldn't go, so I punched it in the nose," Collins said.

Collins, 22, of Juneau, Alaska, had just let her two dogs out to play in her backyard Sunday evening when she began to hear frantic barking.  A black bear that had been seen in the neighborhood recently -- especially on trash pick-up days -- had scooped up her daschshund, Fudge, in its paws, and had it pinned to the ground, she said.

"I remembered hearing that if you punch a shark in the nose it'll go away, and so I punched it in the nose," she said.  "I love my dog.  Nobody could watch their pet die."

She scooped up Fudge, who is 12, and ran inside, but not before the frantic dog bit her on the chin and the bear cut her finger.

"I don't know whether it was the claw or a tooth or what, it just happened so fast," she said.

Collins' boyfriend said the bear was shaking its head, seemingly shocked, after the confrontation.  He then chased it off into the woods, she said.

Friends and family told Collins she was crazy for confronting the bear, but she said others have left her Facebook messages saying her actions to save her dog were heroic.  Fudge is also receiving post-attack attention.  Collins says she's been treating it to bacon and sausages as it recovers from the ordeal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio