Editor’s note: This article has been update to correct the spelling of Dawn Server’s name.
A bear that had been raiding trashcans and bird feeders for about a month in Niwot was caught and relocated when wildlife officers found it napping after having just raided some beehives.
Jason Clay, a spokesman with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said there had been 11 reported sightings of the bear since July 5.
“You’ll see bears go into Niwot, its not unheard of,” Clay said. “They’ll just follow the creeks and the ditches most of the time. Then they just go where the food directs them.”
In this case, Clay said the bear had been primarily feeding off trash and bird feeders, easy calories for the animal.
“When bears are rewarded in areas, they are definitely going to come back,” Clay said. “They’re really intelligent animals.”
But like its cartoon brethren, this bear’s jaunt through town was eventually done in by its pursuit of honey. Dawn Server of Meadow Lake Honey in Niwot said they came out on Saturday to find the bear had gotten into four hives overnight.
“In 11 years, we’ve never had a bear in our hives before,” Server said.
The bear didn’t flee far from the scene, and instead went to take a nap in some trees on the property. That gave wildlife officers the chance to get to the scene and tranquilize the bear.
“The officers came and they were very professional,” Server said. “They gave her some water to cool down, then they went to relocate her.”
Clay said the bear was a female, about 2-and-a-half years old. He said the bear appeared to be in good health, and quickly ran once it was relocated to the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest Saturday evening.
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/YPbeYRNtXK
— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) August 1, 2022
Some residents have posited that there may actually be two bears in Niwot, but Clay said the bear they relocated had a distinctive blonde streak on its back that made them believe she was the bear in the reported sightings.
But even if this female was the only bear in town this month, Clay said residents should still be aware that more could still make their way into town before the summer is over.
If residents see a bear, they should try to safely haze it and scare it off.
“It could just be trying to set off our car alarm in your house, or using an airhorn or banging pots and pans,” Clay said.
A bear was tranquilized and captured in Niwot for relocation by Colorado Parks and Wildlife on July 30, 2022. (Courtesy Meadow Lake Honey)