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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Aspen Police call for bear 'selfie strike'

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Courtesy of Aspen Police Department

Several bears have been spotted in downtown Aspen looking for an easy meal. Earlier this week, a mom and two cubs had posted up in a tree on the Hyman Avenue mall. When the bears came down, photo takers surrounded them, trying to get selfies.

Officers broke up the crowd, fearing that the agitated animals could attack. Aspen Police Sgt. Rob Fabrocini said he understands the desire for photos, but situations like this can turn dangerous.

 

“It’s almost a form of harassing the wildlife at times," Fabrocini said. "You know, I just wish people would use a little more common sense. They are wild animals, they are somewhat unpredictable and you know whenever you get close in a situation like that, it’s really not safe.”

 

Bears that come into close contact with humans are often euthanized. The Aspen Police Department reminds residents and visitors alike to give wildlife space.

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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