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Leash Warning Issued After Bear Chases Dog In Boulder Park

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - A warning has been issued in Boulder after a woman says a bear chased her dog on a trail this week.

The incident happened on the Mesa Trail in Chautauqua Park not far from the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

BOULDER BEARS  bear warning
(credit: CBS)

The woman's dog wasn't on a leash. Both the dog and woman are okay after in run-in with the bear, and now the city is requiring all dogs in the area be on a leash until further notice.

Sandra Snider and her hiking buddy Sam are no stranger to the outdoors -- or wildlife. Around Sam's neck is a blue bear bell. It's something she got to protect her and Sam from wild animals.

"Number one I can keep track of him on the trail, and the other part is he can go ahead and alert the bear that I'm on my way," Snider said.

Bears are not uncommon along Mesa Trail, but after the woman and her small dog's close encounter with a black bear Monday afternoon rangers are taking action.

"The bear growled and got up on its hind legs," Jennifer Churchill with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.

Churchill said the small dog was off leash and managed to outrun the bear while the woman yelled but kept her distance.

"Eventually the bear did go away," Churchill said.

Rangers responded and found no sign of the bear, but now new leash restrictions are in place for parts of Mesa Trail between Bear Canyon and Skunk Canyon, along with a few other areas.

"We ask people to always use leashes because of how much wildlife we have," Churchill said. "We think it's the safer way to go to protect wildlife and to protect your pet."

Snider says she's always aware of wildlife, but stands by her dog's bear bell, saying it's saved her time and again.

"Since he has had the bear bell, he has pulled me off of two bear events," Snider said.

They are temporary restrictions for the area. Rangers say they will lift them as they see fit.

Since it was an animal-to-animal interaction rangers say they won't be taking any action against the bear.

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