Police call for 'bear selfie strike' after removing bear family from tree

By Ben Hooper  |  Sept. 15, 2017 at 11:40 AM
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Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Police in Colorado are asking residents to stop taking selfies with bears after a family of the animals had to be removed from an Aspen tree.

The Aspen Police Department said the mother bear and cubs, caught on camera descending from a tree in Aspen on Sunday, climbed up a tree on the Hyman Avenue Mall on Wednesday and returned to climb up the same tree the following day.

"We're not quite sure why they decided to go up the same tree today, most comfy branches in town perhaps? But we do know one thing, we could do a better job as a community to set these bears up for success," police said in a Facebook post.

The department posted a video to Vimeo showing the bears being tranquilized and relocated by police Thursday with help from Colorado Parks & Wildlife, the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department and the Aspen Parks Department.

Police said recent bear issues in the town have been exacerbated by members of the public getting close to the animals to snap photos. They said such behavior causes the bears to lose their natural fear of humans and could lead to dangerous situations.

The department took to Facebook to demand an "Aspen Bear Selfie Strike."

"As their managing agents, we would request that if you bump into one of our furry celebrities, you politely take a peek and keep on moving. Posting photos of the Aspen Bears to your social media account only draws larger crowds, which can agitate bears and create a dangerous situation," the post said.

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