Shocking steps


“Wildlife officials are counting down the days” until black bears head for the high country to den up for the winter, reports the Aspen Times. It’s been an exasperating year, admits the state’s Division of Wildlife. The bears have grown ever smarter about breaking into Aspen homes, forcing open refrigerators and even — three times this summer –– attacking and injuring locals at night. This bad behavior hurts bears as well: Wildlife officers killed 12 this summer. After hungry bears broke into an outdoor freezer at the Main Street Bakery & Café four or five times, owner Bill Dinsmoor finally figured out a deterrent: He electrified a mat in front of the freezer. Shoe-wearing staffers never felt a jolt when they stepped on the mat, but the two bears “tormenting” Dinsmoor all summer apparently did. Once the mat shocked them, they retreated, though it may be only a matter of time before the bears figure out the shoe thing.

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