Posted on May 19, 2015 by Krysta Cossitt
One of the perks of living in Roxborough is the amazing wildlife we all get to experience on a daily bases. Sometimes the wildlife can get a little too close for comfort, however. The key to coexisting with wild animals is to respect them. Dangerous encounters can occur when people fail to leave animals alone.
Roxborough residents are starting to see evidence that bears are out of hibernation. Overturned garbage cans and damaged garage doors are indications that bears are looking to fill their empty bellies. Because bears have a good sense of smell and amazing memory, feeding or leaving trash out is a good way to attract their presence. However, this presence is not only dangerous to humans but also to the bear. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, bears that seek food from human sources will be euthanized. So it’s important that your trash cans are secured, including cans that are left inside a garage (remember bears can smell up to 20 miles away), and trash is put out only in the morning of pickup. Residents should also make sure to clean BBQs after each use and feed birds only during winter months.
Mountain lions typically stay away from humans but recently they have been spotted inside the park lurking around homes. Mountain lions hunt deer and with all the tame deer that live in the area, its natural for a mountain lion to come down to lower elevations to prey on them. Typically deer move down to lower elevations only in the winter to find food. However, when humans feed deer they begin to concentrate in that area which consequently attracts mountain lions. Mountain lions tend to appear during dusk and dawn so be cautious during this time if you are out walking around. If you do see one you should not run away but rather stand your ground and speak in a loud, firm voice. If a mountain lion does attack, fight back aggressively.
If coyotes and foxes are fed by humans they will come to expect it which can lead to aggressive behavior. If one approaches, residents are encouraged to talk with a firm, loud voice to scare them off. Small rocks or other objects can be thrown in their direction if they do not leave the area. You should never let your dog play with coyotes and keep them on a leash when on hikes. If a coyote or fox attacks it is recommended to fight back aggressively.
Photos by Lance W. Moreland and Travis Cossitt