A wild bear that has a plastic bucket stuck on his head has been roaming the area west of Boulder and officers for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department are trying to find it so they can help.
A public information officer, Jason Clay, stated that a report came in earlier this week about the same bear. The coordinates in the report placed the bear between Salina and Gold Hill which is west of where a Boulder County resident, Grace Miller, encountered the bear yesterday morning.
Grace says that she spotted the bear on the deck of her Camino Bosque home in the morning Thursday but the bear left before the animal control officer and a deputy arrived at her residence.
Jason says that their top priority is to try to get the bear to stand still. The bucket doesn't seem to be causing the bear pain or affecting how mobile he is because it was able to easily leave Grace's home. Based on that information Jason believes that they will need to tranquilize the bear before they approach him, ideally when he is in a tree or taking a nap.
According to Jason, "It’s still able to eat, but as the season goes on and that bear grows, [the bucket] won’t allow it to expand much. So it could become a problem for that bear later in the year, and we’d like to help it out. Bears want to spend the least amount of effort they can to get the most calories … which can lead to some dangerous situations for our bears, like this."
Jason believes that based on Clare's picture, that the bear is wearing a chicken feed bucket, but he says wildlife officers won't be completely sure until they are able to take an up-close look.
Jason also warns that depending on how hard it is to safely capture the bear, removing the bucket could take a long time.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Denver office is requesting that any resident that sees or encounters this bear reach out to them at 303-291-7227. Outside of business hours, they can contact Colorado State Patrol at 303-239-4501 and ask for an on-call wildlife officer.
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