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Bear cub dies after rummaging in trash bin in Colorado town

Colorado Parks and Wildlife asked people to use bear-resistant trash bins after the cub's death in Manitou Springs.
Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
A bear cub climbed into the trash bin on the right, was startled, climbed the power pole and was electrocuted in Manitou Springs, authorities said.

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado wildlife officials reminded people who live in bear country to use bear-proof trash containers after a cub that was looking for food in a trash bin died in Manitou Springs.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife issued the warning on Tuesday, after the bear cub's death. The cub was in a trash bin outside a house when it became startled, climbed a nearby power pole and was electrocuted, CPW said.

"Garbage kills another bear," CPW said on Twitter.

Most conflicts between people and bears are due to human food, garbage, pet food and bird seed, CPW said.

Standard metal and plastic trash cans won't keep out bears. And once a bear learns where to get at garbage, it will return again and again, CPW said, while offering these tips:

  • Never leave trash or recyclables out overnight. Empty cans and boxes still smell like food.
  • Buy a bear-proof trash container. To avoid attracting bears, clean containers regularly with ammonia or bleach.
  • Burn food off barbecue grills and clean after each use.
  • Don't leave food, trash, coolers, air fresheners or anything that smells in your vehicle.
  • Don't make it easy for bears to visit: Keep bear-accessible windows and doors in your home and garage locked.
  • Don't feed birds during the months when bears are active. Instead, use water features, plantings, nest boxes and flowers to attract birds.
  • If you see a bear near your home, do your best to chase it away by yelling, blowing a whistle, clapping and making other loud noises. Never approach a bear.

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