Lions, Tigers and Bears Oh My!

The past week has been full of wildlife sightings for me as I've hiked various trails around Boulder with my dog. Over the lat 6 days, I've managed to see a couple of deer, a fox, an owl and three bears. You probably weren't that impressed until you got to the bear part. I know, I wasn't either. But bears! 

 

Photo courtesy of Boulder Daily Camera Newspaper.

Last Thursday morning, as I hiked along one of my favorite trails, I saw a sow and 2 cubs about 200 yards away. It was an amazing experience for me, as I had just been saying that I had never seen a bear in the "wild" before. I immediately leashed Oliver (the dog) and continued up the trail, careful to observe the sow's behavior. Both parties seemed content to see each other and amble on our respective routes.  I was mindful the entire time to keep my distance and kept thinking about the Leave No Trace principle "Respect Wildlife." 

The next day, I read an article in our local newspaper about a sow and two cubs hanging out in a Boulder yard.  While I can't be certain that it's the same bear family, I think there's a very good chance it is.  Their presence in the North Boulder neighborhood caused quite a stir, and many folks hung out all day watching the bear's activity, despite the requests of the Colorado Division of Wildlife officers.  Leave No Trace isn't just applicable in the backcountry, but also in your (neighbor's) front yard, too.