|Above, a black bear at Yellowstone Bear World in Rexburg, Idaho. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
This story caught my attention as I've camped at Morefield Campground at Mesa Verde National Park twice. The first time was in a hard-sided travel trailer and then in a tent trailer (or pop-up trailer). During both visits, we saw no bears (just a lot of mule deer) and we really weren't aware of a bear population at the park.
According to The Journal, bear and human encounters at Mesa Verde are on the rise.
Like much of Montezuma County, Mesa Verde National Park has seen more than its share of encounters between bears and humans this summer, and its staff is recruiting volunteers to help.
According to a news release Friday from Mesa Verde public information officer Cristy Brown, several members of the park’s black bear population have been spotted rooting through dumpsters and unattended food near campsites and picnic tables. Like other recent bear sightings throughout the region, these are likely caused by a shortage of natural food sources due to a late frost, according to the release. To prevent conflicts between bears and humans, the park plans to start a volunteer bear safety education program in conjunction with the nonprofit Bear Smart Durango and other wildlife management agencies.
To read more, go here.