A group of rescue bears at Yellowstone National Park are working off their room and board debt as trash can test bears. Once bears gain access to a food product, they keep going back to it, causing residents problems. Four bears were euthanized in Colorado last year, after they learned that humans had easy-access food. Boulder City Council voted to enforce stricter policies to prevent bears from seeing human trash cans as dinner tables.
Valerie Matheson, Boulder’s Urban Wildlife Coordinator, explained Boulder’s ordinance, which requires trash cans to be secure from access by bears. Western Disposal, a trash removal company, is working hard to find ways to keep bears out of trash cans. The company retrofitted and bear-proofed six thousand of Boulder’s trash containers.
According to a bear expert interviewed, “There is a saying. ‘A fed bear is a dead bear.’ And it’s really true.” Randy Gravatt told ABC News, “If they do not get in after 60 minutes and the latch is still intact, the product can be labeled ‘bear resistant.'”
It was not an easy challenge. Bears are very clever. After multiple tries, the new bear resistant trash can prototype was sent to Yellowstone for testing by the park’s furry product testers. The Yellowstone bears are located in the only trash can testing facility of its kind in the country. Watch this adorable video as these bear resistant trash can testers attempt to gain access to delicious treats hidden inside trash cans.
[Photo via Western Disposal’s Facebook page]