Woman stumbles across black bear | CraigDailyPress.com

Woman stumbles across black bear

John Vandelinder

Tips on being bear responsible

• Don’t feed bears, and don’t put food out for other wildlife that attracts bears.

• Make sure trash and bird feeders are sealed.

• Burn food off barbecue grills and clean after each use.

• Keep all bear-accessible windows and doors closed and locked, including home, garage and vehicle doors.

• Don’t leave food, trash, coolers, air fresheners or anything that smells in your vehicle.

• If you have fruit growing in your yard, pick it before it ripens and clean up fallen fruit.

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• Talk to your neighbors about doing their part to be bear-responsible.

If you see a bear:

If a bear comes near your home, do your best to scare it away. Yell, blow a whistle, clap your hands and make other loud noises. Never approach or corner a bear.

For more information, see the DOW Web site at http://wildlife.s…

Craig resident Dixie Osmun wasn’t expecting it.

And why should she?

Osmun simply was spending time with friends Sunday afternoon at Loudy-Simpson Park, minding her own business, taking some leisurely photos, when something caught her attention in the bushes.

A few seconds later, standing before her was a black bear.

Osmun didn’t freeze, run or scream.

She did what she had come to the park to do.

She took a picture.

“There was actually two of them there yesterday” Sunday, Osmun said. “It didn’t bother me. I probably should have been scared, but I wasn’t.

“I was like, ‘I’ve got to get a picture of this,’ so I did.”

The sighting of the two Black Bears was the first reported in a decade.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” said Mike Bauman, district wildlife manager for the Craig area. “And I’ve only heard of one bear in the Craig area and it was, I’m guessing, 10 years ago. You know, this is a very rare occasion.”

Bauman said residents shouldn’t “make much” of the sighting, and not to worry about possible bear attacks.

“As far as I know, they have never created an issue here,” he said. “If there was going to be an area where they may come, they may drop into the area that has the best cover, that being the river bottom, and that’s what happened the first go around.

“I’m assuming that it was just something that was in passing.”

Black bears can be found throughout Colorado.

The average weight of an adult ranges from 200 to 600 pounds and their habitats range in an area of 500 to 600 square miles.

Black bears are classified as a carnivore, though most of their diet consists of vegetation, fruits, nuts and roots. Other favorite foods are fish.

Although it is named the black bear, the typical coloration is black to cinnamon with a white blaze on the chest.

The snout is tan or grizzled with a straight or slightly convex profile.

Tips on being bear responsible

• Don’t feed bears, and don’t put food out for other wildlife that attracts bears.

• Make sure trash and bird feeders are sealed.

• Burn food off barbecue grills and clean after each use.

• Keep all bear-accessible windows and doors closed and locked, including home, garage and vehicle doors.

• Don’t leave food, trash, coolers, air fresheners or anything that smells in your vehicle.

• If you have fruit growing in your yard, pick it before it ripens and clean up fallen fruit.

• Talk to your neighbors about doing their part to be bear-responsible.

If you see a bear:

If a bear comes near your home, do your best to scare it away. Yell, blow a whistle, clap your hands and make other loud noises. Never approach or corner a bear.

For more information, see the DOW Web site at http://wildlife.s…