While Northern Colorado bears are typically associated with the university in Greeley, Colorado State University briefly hosted an ursine visitor Friday morning.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials safely removed a young black bear from a tree on the CSU Oval about 10:30 a.m., roughly two hours after university officials warned those on campus to avoid the area. The bear, which state wildlife officials said was a subadult sow weighing approximately 200 pounds, was tranquilized three times before it was lowered from the tree onto large inner tubes.
The bear will be relocated in the mountains by state wildlife officials.
Officials asked people to avoid the area so they could "calmly and safely remove the bear," though it drew an estimated crowd of about 100 people to campus.
"With all the traffic and people around the bear was very aware of what was going on and super aware of what was going on with us,'' said Brandon Muller, Colorado Parks and Wildlife assistant district wildlife manager for the area. "It was a little difficult but the tree was perfect and we were glad that we got the bear down safely and that everyone else was safe.''
Muller said the agency had been getting reports of the bear Thursday night in the Old Town Fort Collins area. He said the bear showed up on the CSU campus around 7 a.m. Friday before it made its way up a 20-foot tree just south of Ammons Hall.
This was the second time within a month that a bear has been seen on campus. According to a CSU police post on Facebook, a bear was on the south end of campus in late August. However, CSU police spokesperson Dell Rae Ciaravola said she believes there hasn't been a bear on campus "for some time" before this fall.
The same day the bear was seen on CSU's campus in August, a bear was also seen at Beattie Elementary School, forcing the school to go on lockdown.
Bears are more apt to be found in towns and cities along the foothills this time of year as they get ready for hyperphagia by spending up to 20 hours a day trying to eat more than 20,000 calories to fatten up for winter, according to the state wildlife agency.
Last year, Fort Collins and the northern half of Larimer County had 68 reports of bears, which was a 56% decline from 2020, according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife bear report.
Bearproofing your home
Keep garbage in a well-secured location.
Only put out garbage on the morning of pickup.
Clean garbage cans regularly to keep them free of food odors: ammonia is effective.
Use a bear-resistant trash can or bin.
Don't leave pet food or stock feed outside.
If you have fruit trees, make sure to pick up any fruit that falls to the ground.
Bird feeders are a major source of bear/human conflicts. Do not hang bird feeders from April 15 to Nov. 15.
Do not attract other wildlife by feeding them, such as deer, turkeys or small mammals.
Don’t allow bears to become comfortable around your house. If you see one, yell at it, throw things at it, make noise to scare it off.
Secure compost piles. Bears are attracted to the scent of rotting food.
Clean the grill after each use.
If you keep small livestock, keep animals in a fully covered enclosure. Construct electric fencing if possible. Don’t store livestock food outside, keep enclosures clean to minimize odors, hang rags soaked in ammonia and/or Pine-Sol around the enclosure.
If you have beehives, install electric fencing where allowed.
Talk to your neighbors and kids about being bear aware.
Keep garage doors closed.
Source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Editor's note: This story headline has a correction. The bear was located just west of the CSU Oval.
Molly Bohannon covers city government for the Coloradoan. Follow her on Twitter @molboha or contact her at email@example.com. Support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.
This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Bear removed from tree near CSU campus Oval in Fort Collins