A small crowd gathered along the sidewalk and traffic slowed to a crawl as Niwot residents gawked at a black bear in a tree Thursday evening.
Officials from the Division of Wildlife say the bear has been in the tree since around 8 a.m., over twelve hours at the time of posting. It is a male, estimated to weigh between 250 and 350 pounds and thought to have entered Niwot from the northeast. Residents first spotted him this morning by My Mom’s Pies, a local pie bakery, before he made his way to the tree. The bear’s perch in the tree is too high for officials to safely tranquilize him, so they are waiting for darkness in the hopes that the bear will return to the woods by the cover of night without incident.
Black bears will occasionally enter residential areas in search of food, but long-time residents of Niwot say they have never seen anything like this. Officials say that the prolonged drought and fires in Colorado this year are likely making it more difficult for bears to find enough food in the wild, and are asking that residents not leave garbage bins and other potential sources of food outside this evening.