Friday, August 05, 2011

Goin' On a Bear Hunt...And Other Critters

Remember this photo I posted last month? It is the foot print of a bear.

Southern Colorado has been in a drought for at least a year. That means there isn't much food available for the bears. But they know where to find food beyond berry bushes--trash cans! A couple of weeks ago we saw the first two dumpsters raided here in Lathrop State Park. This week the bear, or bears, got into one dumpster Sunday night into Monday, then another Monday night into Tuesday. That second dumpster wasn't far from where our RV is parked. Last night it was another one in the campground.

How do they get in? Bears aren't stupid. See the lid of this dumpster? Mr. or Mrs. Bear climbed up on top and stood on it. That pushes the lid--which is supposed to be bear proof, note the bar across the top front--down so the bear can reach in and remove trash bags.

If you need even more evidence of how big and strong the bear is, just look at this pile of scat (poop) left near one of the dumpsters. My cellphone gives you an idea of how large the pile is. That was one big--or full--bear!

Here is the lid of a dumpster the bear got into sometime last month. You can still see the dent that was left.

As if bears weren't enough, this morning one of the park employees was out early on a bike ride in the park when she saw a mountain lion in a popular picnic area, headed to the water for a drink. She turned around and went back the way she came before the large cat finished taking a drink.

A few hours later I was out helping John with fire pit cleaning. I looked down at the ground just as I stepped on a snake. I gasped, jumped away and looked again. It didn't move, so I stopped holding my breath. It was obviously dead. I waved to John to come over a take a look. As he approached, my "dead" snake slithered away. Yikes!


  1. What an exciting week. I nearly had a heart attack the other night at dusk when I went to open the lid on the dumpster and a racoon came running out. Probably felt like you did when you stepped on the snake!

  2. Wow! Too much wildlife! Although I would love to see the mountain lion from a safe distance. Won't the state come out and trap those bear if they're getting too familiar?

  3. Colorado has combined wildlife and parks into the Department of Parks and Wildlife. They store a bear trap at our maintenance yard. I think the bears have to threaten people before the trap is used.