Colorado Parks & Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Steve Keefer, having received several reports of a bear sighted in North La Junta, checked out all the reports and found that nobody actually saw a bear. He also did not discover signs of a bear’s recent presence.

“Sighting of bears in Southeast Colorado is fairly unusual, but we do have bears in the area," Keefer said. "They move around a lot.

"If you suspect bears in the area, keep your trash locked up. If you must feed pets outdoors, be sure to put the food away quickly and clean up after the pets have finished. Don’t leave pet food out. If bears get used to feeding someplace, they will come back.”

Keefer said he has not seen a bear this year in Bent or Otero County, but he has seen them in previous years. They like areas where there is lots of cover, water and something to eat, without many people around.

“If you encounter a bear, walk away slowly, wave your arms to look bigger and speak loudly," he said. "Bears are not usually aggressive.”

bmcfarren@ljtdmail.com