Officers from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) have shared a video showing the moment a food-focused female bear was released into the woods after pillaging the town of Niwot.
Throughout the course of July, CPW received 11 reports about the black bear, which appears to have become food conditioned. Like habituation (when an animal loses its natural fear of humans due to frequent exposure), food conditioning is dangerous for both wildlife and people because it increases the chance of close encounters in which the animal might feel threatened and lash out.
In several states, bears that attack a human are captured and euthanized, even if the person is uninjured, so wildlife officers prefer to intervene and relocate animals before that happens.
In the video, which you can watch below, officers release the bear from a specially built truck and shoo her into the woods.
Wildlife officers release a bear Saturday evening after relocating it out of Niwot. It had gotten into a beehive earlier in the day, which is one of 11 reports of this bear getting into trash, birdfeeders & other food sources this month. The bear is a 2.5 year-old sow (female). pic.twitter.com/YPbeYRNtXKAugust 1, 2022
Relocation isn't without its challenges though. As the Get Bear Smart Society explains, it's most effective with juvenile bears (those under four years old), which haven't yet established territory and are more likely to disperse. Wildlife officers also need to make sure animals are moved far enough away from where they were found, as they can travel up to 18km a day back to their home.
To find out how to stay safe if you encounter a black bear, check out our guide what to do if you meet a bear.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).