DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The Douglas County Sheriff's Office released body camera video Thursday showing deputies and state wildlife officers helping a bear cub escape from a trash container while the cub's mother watched from nearby.
The rescue happened July 15 in the Roxborough area. Deputy Lee Jazombek and Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers arrived on scene to find the little bear in a dumpster, crying out in distress. The trash bin was surrounded by discarded wooden pallets and sections of fencing.
"I know," Jazombek said to the crying bear. "I know. You're so cute!"
Instead of climbing into the dumpster with the cub, the first responders dragged a section of chicken-wire fencing into the trash bin and angled it so the bear could climb out on its own.
"You stay here and let me know about the mom," Jazombek said as he went to get the fencing. He also placed some old wooden boards against the outside of the trash container for the cub to use once it got out.
"We gave you a way out, buddy," he said.
Within a minute of Jazombek placing the fencing in the dumpster, the cub was out and running back to its mother.
"What a day!" Jazombek said. "What a day."
> Watch the body camera video:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers the following tips to help prevent human/bear conflicts:
- Keep garbage in a well-secured enclosure.
- Only put out garbage on the morning of pickup; bring empty cans back inside before dark.
- Use a bear-resistant trash can or dumpster. These are available online or from your trash hauler.
- Clean all garbage cans regularly to keep them odor free. The scent of ammonia can deter bears.
- Take down all bird feeders. Bird feeders are a major source of bear/human conflicts. Birds have naturally available food sources during the spring, summer and fall. Don’t let your bird feeder become a bear feeder.
- Don't leave pet food or stock feed outside – never provide food sources for any wildlife.
- Install and test your electric fencing to protect your chicken coops, bee hives or even livestock enclosures.
- Clean all BBQ grills.
- Keep garage doors and windows closed and locked, especially between dusk and dawn.
- Don’t leave attractants such as snacks, food wrappers, gum, or even scented hand lotions in your car; and always lock vehicle doors.
- Use bear boxes or bear-proof containers for food and scented items when camping.
- Don't leave food outside while camping. If bear boxes aren't available, buy your own bear canister or leave all food in the trunk of a locked vehicle as your last resort.
- Buy an air horn or bear spray. These tools are good to have whether for your home or if you go hiking and camping. They can help haze bears away.
- Review CPW’s Bearproofing Your Home Fact Sheet and conduct a home audit to be sure you are not attracting bears to your property.
- Talk to your neighbors and kids about being bear aware.
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