CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — Wildlife officials were investigating multiple cabin break-ins by bears since Sept. 1 in the Ute Creek area of Clear Creek County.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has received reports of 18 cabins being broken into, with some of those cabins having been broken into multiple times. That's a high number, even for cabins located in bear habitat, according to CPW. The most recent break-ins were reported Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Wildlife officials believe that two bears are the culprits. One of those bears, an adult male, was trapped and euthanized on Sept. 26, a CPW spokesman said.
That bear was believed to have broken into an occupied cabin. No one was injured in the incident, according to CPW.
Officials have set a trap for the other bear. If the bear that officials think is breaking into cabins is caught, it could also be euthanized, said the CPW spokesman, Jason Clay.
"It's a very dangerous thing," he said, adding that the bear has lost its fear of humans and could cause a dangerous situation if it breaks into an occupied cabin.
There are more than 80 cabins in the area, most of them not occupied year-round. Many of the cabins were built many decades ago and don't have well-secured doors and windows. Also, owners sometimes leave food inside when they're not staying in their cabin, Clay said.
Clay emphasized that the cabins that have seen break-ins are in bear habitat, and at this time of year, bears are fattening up for hibernation. It's up to people to educate themselves on being "bear aware."
CPW provides tips on living in bear country and how to bear-proof a home. Some of those tips include getting rid of things that attract bears, such as taking down birdfeeders and securing trash cans. Homeowners should also secure all bear-accessible windows and keep doors locked.
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