GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- On Wednesday, September 13 a mom and two bear cubs were in a tree on the Hyman Avenue mall in Aspen most of the day, according to police.
By the time the bears came down a large crowd had gathered.
People there to take photos and videos were in a dangerous situation, officials said.
Officers encouraged the crowd to give the animals plenty of space, as they feared the mother bear might attack someone, according to the Aspen Police Department.
The agitated bears were chased by a small group of people when they tried to escape the area.
The bears eventually left the area, but officials warn that attempting to take photos or selfies near wild animals is dangerous for the people and wildlife involved.
The Aspen Police said it’s illegal to harass wildlife of any kind, including bears, according to Colorado Revised Statute 33-6-128.
According to officials, harass means to unlawfully endanger, worry, impede, annoy, pursue, disturb, molest, rally, concentrate, harry, chase, drive, herd, or torment wildlife.
Here are steps you can take to help alleviate human-bear conflicts, according to officials:
1. If you see an officer and caution tape around town, please keep moving and encourage onlookers to do the same.
2. Don’t post pictures of bears in trees to your Facebook, Instagram, or other social media accounts, it only creates bigger crowds showing up for bear viewing.
3. Encourage your peers to join the Aspen Bears “Selfie Strike” by sharing the Aspen Police’s most recent Facebook post to show your support for our local bears.