Officials 'haze' black bear near a Colorado Springs school

Photo courtesy: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - "Don't hurt the bear!"

Children were reportedly yelling at wildlife officials seen "hazing" a 200-pound black bear near a Colorado Springs school on Monday. The incident happened near Coronado High School in a culvert. Wildlife officials wanted to share an important message with the community after they shot rubber buckshot, bean bags and used pepper spray on the animal.

By "hazing" the bear, officials were able to save the bear a strike. Meaning if the bear receives enough strikes by posing a danger, the bear could be euthanized. The agency has a two-strike policy. To determine if a bear was involved in a previous incident it is trapped and tagged.

It is that time of the year when bears are waking up from hibernation. Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to make sure the public is "bear aware."

BE BEAR AWARE

-Many bears that enter homes do so through an unlocked or
open window or door. Close and lock all bear-accessible windows
and doors when you leave the house, and at night before you go
to bed.

-If you must leave downstairs windows open, install sturdy
grates or bars. Screens don’t keep out bears.

-Keep garage doors and windows closed and locked at night
and when you’re not home. Don’t leave your garage door standing
open when you’re not outside. Install extra-sturdy doors
if you have a freezer, refrigerator, pet food, bird seed, or other
attractants in your garage.

-Keep car doors and windows closed and locked if you park
outside. Make sure there’s nothing with an odor in your vehicle,
including candy, gum, air fresheners, trash, lotions and lip balms.

-Bears are great climbers — remove any tree limbs that might
provide access to upper level decks and windows.

-Replace exterior lever-style door handles with good quality
round door knobs that bears can’t pull or push open.

-Put on talk radio (not music) when you leave home; the
human voice startles most bears.
Get Rid of Attractants

-Bears follow their super-sensitive noses to anything that smells
like food, and can follow scents from up to five miles away.

-Don’t leave trash out overnight unless it’s in a bear-proof
enclosure or container. Obey all local regulations.

-We recommend feeding birds only when bears are hibernating.
If you want to feed birds when bears are active, please
review the Attracting Birds, Not Bears fact sheet on our website.

-Don’t store food of any kind in an unlocked garage, flimsy
shed or on or under your deck.

-Don’t leave anything with an odor outside, near open windows
or in your vehicle, even if you’re home. That includes scented
candles, air fresheners, soaps and lotions.
Teach Bears They’re Not Welcome

-If a bear comes into your yard or close to your home, do
yourself and the bear a big favor, and scare it away. A confident
attitude plus loud noises like a firm yell, clapping your hands,
banging on pots and pans or blowing an air horn sends most
bears running.

-If a bear enters your home, open doors and windows and
make sure it can leave the same way it got in. Don’t approach the
bear or block escape routes.

-Never approach a bear. If a bear won’t leave, call your local
CPW office. If a bear presents an immediate threat to human
safety, call 911.