An adult black bear was unknowingly dumped into a trash compaction truck from a curbside dumpster on April 11, 2013 and taken to the local landfill where sanitation workers saw it emerge from the trash pile. Game and Fish officers were called and the bear was found in a nearby shed. The bear was injured from the ordeal and officers euthanized it.
Bears frequent the dumpsters to find food and sometimes use them for daytime nap hideaways. Trash collectors have no idea that bears are in the closed containers until they unload at the landfill. Game and Fish is working with the City of Raton to change out the current dumpsters for ones that will be bear proof, but until then bears will continue to use them for food and hideouts. “This is just another unfortunate chapter in Raton’s long history of bears and dumpsters”, says Clint Henson, Game and Fish Information Officer. “Only when we change our behavior will bears be forced to find more natural, safer food sources.”
If you have questions about bears or other wildlife management issues, please call the New Mexico Game and Fish at 505-476-8000 or follow us online at www.wildlife.state.nm.us.
Image courtesy New Mexico Department of Game and Fish