OMFG: I think this state needs to issue basic intelligence tests for people who want to live in the Wildlife Urban Interface (WUI) zone in our foothills and mountains. This morning, I cracked open my newspaper to read this: “Boulder Heights plagued by bear break-ins.” My goodness–this is news if local bears have become expert lock-pickers and safe-crackers! I knew they were intelligent animals, but this is remarkable news!
But no. There were no “break-ins,” unless you consider walking in through an open door or window a “break-in.” People are going to bed at night with their doors and windows wide-open and are surprised to find entire bear families raiding their fridges: “Most recently, one came in through a neighbor’s window, pulled all the drawers and trays out of the refrigerator and ended up devouring a pile of energy bars.” That’s the thing about bears–they’re smart enough to zero in on the high-calorie, easily accessible foods you leave around the house, but they’re not in fact smart enough to outwit a locked door or window.
Jennifer Churchill, a spokeswoman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, offers advice for the hundreds of people who apparently have never lived either in cities or in the wilderness: “Don’t put trash out too early. Make sure we close any lower-level windows and doors and lock them so that bears can’t get in. It only takes one time for the bear to get that reward to start zeroing in on homes and garages.”
Where did these people come? Aren’t these just the basic rules of prudent citizenship, whether or not you’re living in bear country?