Landfill bears pose threat to observers

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Bears feed in the local Archuleta County landfill. Bear sightings at the landfill have become extremely prevalent, but county authorities warn against the danger of visiting the landfill to observe the wildlife. Local law enforcement will begin writing citations for those trespassing on landfill property to see the bears.
Bears feed in the local Archuleta County landfill. Bear sightings at the landfill have become extremely prevalent, but county authorities warn against the danger of visiting the landfill to observe the wildlife. Local law enforcement will begin writing citations for those trespassing on landfill property to see the bears.

By Casey Crow
Staff Writer

Bear sightings are becoming extremely prevalent in the Pagosa Springs area, particularly at the landfill. Visiting the landfill to watch wild bears is not only considered trespassing, but also dangerous according to local authorities.

Last night alone, it was reported over the police scanner that approximately 20 people were at the landfill watching the bears.

The county would like to remind residents and visitors that entering the landfill for purposes unrelated to its use is considered trespassing.

Bentley Henderson, County Administrator, spoke to The SUN and said that the county strongly discourages people from visiting the landfill to see bears.

Henderson stated that going onto any property without a reason is considered trespassing.

While it is, in fact, unlawful, the county is most concerned with the safety of families.

According to Archuleta County Sheriff Richard Valdez, his biggest concern is the danger of the situation.

Not only are bears in their most aggressive state when feeding, but it has been reported that families are bringing young children into the landfill to watch the bears.

One deputy reported that a family was watching a bear directly in front of them and were completely unaware that they were being surrounded by two large bears from behind.

Valdez stated that bears are unpredictable animals, and people are asked to respect county property.

 

 

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