Before moving here in 1994, I’d always lived in very urban neighborhoods in cities to the east. I was shocked to see all the wildlife that lives among the neighborhoods of Colorado Springs.
For 13 years, we’ve lived next to an open space in Rockrimmon and have a front-row seat for watching deer, coyote (I spotted this one on Christmas morning 2007), bobcat, fox. I’m still hoping to see a rare mountain lion.
What I enjoy the most is seeing the bears. Typically, they emerge from the open space at night and trigger our security lights.
This cinammon black bear has been a regular visitor to our backyard for years. Usually, she has a cub or two following behind her.
I’ve always considered it a privilege to live so close to nature. I never considered calling the Division of Wildlife when the bears came and knocked down the neighbors’ birdfeeders or tossed open trash cans. I just shrugg it off.
I didn’t consider calling DOW after a bobcat raided my kids’ rabbit hutch and attacked my dog. I was upset but shrugged if off as the price of living among wild animals.
He had been following her and I believe she was tired of him competing with her for food and let him know it. The confrontation was dramatic and the young adult was unhappy.
Luckily, he ran up a tree just off our bedroom and we were eye-to-eye. He huffed and barked at us from the branches.
This spring, she showed as usual with three new cubs, foraging at night mostly. The young adult came around, too. But he avoided her and made his rounds in the daytime.
We’ve spotted him in the mornings, crossing the street or digging in a neighbor’s trash which had been set at the curb for pickup.
I met him twice this summer. The first time, I had opened my garage in the early morning to load luggage into my car for a trip. He happened to wander into the garage while I was inside the house getting our bags.
I came out and he was trying to open a refrigerator deep inside my garage in a mud room. We were both startled. I ran back inside and pounded on the walls to chase him out of the garage.
I met him again a few weeks ago. Earlier in the day, he came right up to one neighbor, chasing her into her house. He walked up the stairs to her front door before sauntering off. He was not scared of her.
That evening, he came in my garage while I was unloading groceries. He got the fridge in my mud room open and drained a gallon of juice. Then he went after a plastic trash can full of dog food.
He would not leave no matter how much I yelled at him, or threw brooms and other objects. He just glared at me and ate dog food. Finally, I ran to my car and blasted the horn until he retreated.
He came back a few minutes later, even jumped on a small wooden fence and huffed at me as I swept up the dog food. He scared me.
So I think I understand how those folks felt last week when they were confronted in their homes by bears. It’s sad six died in three days. I wish there was another solution.
But I’m convinced this young adult is not afraid of humans and has identified houses as a source of food. He’s dangerous, in my book. Especially to my 11-year-old son.