Grizzlies back in Rosemont

Bear Aware is reminding residents to educate themselves after a young grizzly was spotted in Rosemont.

Bear Aware is reminding residents to educate themselves after a young grizzly was spotted in Rosemont.

On August 17, the Nelson Police Department received an anonymous complaint about a bear in the area of Wasson and Jeffs streets.

“The members attended but the bear was not there. They did eventually discover it in the north lane of the 600 block of West Innes Street,” said Sgt. Steve Bank of the Nelson Police Department.

The officers identified the bear as a small one or two-year-old grizzly.

Bank said it’s the only complaint they’ve received lately.

“While the officers were trying to get the bear to leave the area somebody else came by and said there was a larger grizzly — presumably the mother — just a short distance away. But we haven’t received any other complaints since,” he said.

Joanne Siderius, program supervisor for Bear Aware, said a colder than usual spring and summer may have hindered huckleberry production in the mountains, forcing bears to come closer to town in search of food.

“It’s been a fairly typical season, but it’s time now that bears will be gearing up for hibernation, so they will go through hyperphagia, where they really start gearing up to eat a lot,” she said.

“If there aren’t a lot of huckleberries they might come to town to eat apples, plums and garbage.”

Siderius said even though she’s heard mixed reports about how many huckleberries are available, she suspects “there may not be a lot of berries available.”

“Fall is often a time, starting late August, early September, where we might see a lot of bears coming to town, depending on what the food up top is like. It’s been pretty wet earlier and things were late,” she said.

Siderius said it’s important for residents to reduce bear attractants in their yards.

“For people living in that area, I would recommend making sure the fruit is in off the cherry trees because even though the tree may not be producing great cherries, it’s drawing bears in,” said Siderius.

Other attractants include garbage, compost and bird feeders.

If you live in Rosemont, or are in an area where there could be bears, Siderius said it’s important to make noise and if possible have light, such as a flashlight with you.

“If you see the bear and you’re making noise, chances are the bear will back off. Bears aren’t really out to be around people,” she said.

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