'City bears' still being spotted as other bears are long into hibernation

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Did you know "city bears" tend to hibernate later than regular bears?

Two families spotted what is most likely the same bear in the Broadmoor area on the southwest side of Colorado Springs this week. It is December and we've already had a number of snowstorms.

Seeing the bear was certainly surprising to the families. But wildlife experts say it's not uncommon for city-dwelling bears to be awake and not in a deep hibernation right now.

"We were just decorating our Christmas tree and our dog started to bark, and my dad looked out of the window and he said, 'There's a bear out there and it's a big one,'" Kinley Dyar said.

"He was really big, like I think the biggest one we've seen this year," sister Kaya Dyar added. "I was very surprised he wasn't in a den or something."

"It was definitely surprising that we saw him in December when we're decorating our Christmas tree," Kinley said.

Jim Martin and his wife saw the bear Monday morning right after they dropped their kids off at school. They were caught off-guard when they spotted the black bear in the white snow.

"We pulled off to the side of the road, my wife got her camera out, and we started to film," Martin recalled. "The bear sat there and looked around a little bit."

Colorado Parks and Wildlife tell us while it would be unusual to see a wild bear out of hibernation right now, it's not uncommon to see what they call "city bears" awake and roaming around.

"Bears in these urban areas, if there is that food source, they can kind of come in and out of that hibernation as they see fit on nicer warmer days or if that food source is available," said Cody Wigner with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Experts are using the videos filmed by the families to remind homeowners to keep their trash and bird feeders secured throughout winter.