Some Weld County residents got a big surprise while taking their trash out on Sunday evening, discovering a bear rummaging through their garbage in Johnstown’s Indianhead Estates, according to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office.
Bureau Chief Steve Reams said no one was injured, and deputies responded to the subdivision to keep an eye on the bear, which moved east to U.S. 34 and Weld County Road 17 south of Windsor after being startled.
Reams said on Monday morning the bear had taken refuge in a tree near U.S. 34 and Weld County Road 17, and officers from Colorado Parks and Wildlife were watching it.
“It’s just kind of one of those interesting stories ’cause it’s in Weld County and we don’t normally have bears,” Reams said.
Jennifer Churchill, spokeswoman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said the bear was 100 pounds.
She said the best thing would be for the bear to stay in the tree until nightfall, when he could climb down and find his way home.
But a gathering crowd of people were making it hard for the bear to do that and Churchill asked that people stay away.
“Really, the officers would just like to help him along back to where he came from,” she said. “But if the bear insists on going down early and gets scared by all the people, we may have to chase him or even tranquilize him. So it’s moment to moment.”
The bear probably came from the St. Vrain River drainage near Johnstown, a spot frequently traveled by bears, Churchill said.