DURANGO — People spend thousands of dollars on home security systems to ward off would-be burglars, but as it turns out, it only takes a couple of tacks and some wood to do the same for curious bears.
This year, human-bear conflicts have reached a sort of fever pitch. Poor human habits, such as not securing trash and leaving doors and windows unlocked, has coupled with a bad natural-food year to make the situation dire for bears in southwest Colorado.
As a result, hungry bears have been reported both in Durango and in La Plata County rummaging through trash, getting into bird feeders and, at times, killing livestock to supplement their diet.
But this year, more so than in years past, bears are attempting to get into people’s homes, sometimes successfully.
Bear Smart Durango’s Bryan Peterson has noted the amount of bear break-ins this year. He’s received five reports of bears in a home, eight reports of bears trying to enter a home and three reports of bears in a garage or attempting to enter one.
And that’s just through reports made to Bear Smart’s website, which excludes reports he’s heard through email or phone calls.
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However, Peterson said a recent situation was a breaking point.
He said a woman reported a bear had broken into her home twice: once when a door was left open and a second time when the bruin broke through a door and damaged the kitchen.
Peterson said the woman started to become afraid of sleeping in her home.
“And we didn’t have anything to help her,” he said. “It just became apparent that we needed to get something to people that were having home break-ins.”
So, Peterson contacted Jim Sims,…
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