Talon News - Good Local News

AZTEC AND THE THREE BEARS

 

August 11, 2017

Bob Bryner

Aztec resident Bob Bryner spotted this momma bear and her two cubs near the Animas River, by the Aztec Ruins. He shot the photo and took a different trail to get home

First spotted on Monday the 7th, 2017, Momma bear and her two cubs were spotted eating a deer caucus along the East Ruins site at our very own Aztec Ruins National Monument. Since this site is closed to the public, the bears did not raise much concern regarding public safety but the staff of the Aztec Ruins kept an eye on the special visitors. The bears decided to make a second return to the Park on Tuesday the 8th, this time in the Hubbard site, which resulted in the trail being closed down to protect the safety of the public and to not disturb the bears themselves. Later that evening the bears were spotted walking toward the Animas river.

Jess Williams

These bears were spotted behind the Conoco station at LightPlant Road

Nathan Hatfield, representing the Aztec Ruins, said the Park "continues to monitor the situation and will possibly close sites as needed". There have been reports about a different family of bears walking near McCoy elementary, this family includes a mother and her three cubs. There have been no allegations of either family causing any necessary trouble but citizens are still warned to be cautious and aware of bears. A New Mexico Department of Game and Fish representative explained that bears are seen throughout New Mexico around this time of year. This is the result of lack of food in their primary habitat, the mountains. Waiting for berries to ripen, and a possible lack of berries, causes bears tend to migrate and look for alternate food sources. The representative also warned to never feed bears or leave food out where bears could gain access to it. This forms an association between food and humans for the bears and greatly increases their risk of bears staying around town. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has recommendations for how to avoid and what to do in the situation of a bear encounter. website. Some tips for the public include keeping garbage in airtight containers and place garbage out for pick-up the morning of, not the night before. Clean any fallen fruit off of the ground as this can be a powerful attraction for all sorts of wildlife, not just bears. When camping, keep the tent and sleeping bag free of all food smells, in addition to storing food and garbage correctly. In case you do encounter a bear, make yourself as large as possible. If you have children with you, pick them up so they do not run. Lastly, give the bear as much space as possible to avoid the bear feeling trapped. If the bear does attack, use anything in your vicinity to protect yourself and aim for the bears eyes and nose. If you do encounter a bear, direct your call to the Department of Game and Fish or the Department of Wildlife. Just like Goldilocks and her bears found a solution that worked for them all, so will the City of Aztec and our furry little friends.

 

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