Rocky the Bear is Safe After Being Captured by Wildlife Officials


Dr. Craig Woodall.

Rocky the bear as he woke up from his nap in a backyard. He was woken up by CDW officials climbing the fence seen behind him.

The bear that caused the Rocky Mountain High School lockout September 4, is confirmed to have been relocated to the Laramie River Valley. He was tranquilized by Colorado Wildlife officials and taken to his new home that morning.

School Resource Officer Hess was notified by the Fort Collins Dispatch that the bear (now affectionately deemed Rocky) was spotted at Swallow and Silverplume, and worked with the administration to reach a decision that the school should be put on lockout. The high school and neighboring schools were on lockout from the beginning of first period to the the beginning of second.

Rocky was confirmed by the Department of Wildlife to be a young male and was given a clean bill of health.

Dr. Craig Woodall
Rocky sleeps in the yard he was found in. He’d traveled down from the foothills looking for food.

“Bears typically make their way into town in search of a food source,” RMHS science teacher Sarah Bucko explained. “This time of year they eat a lot more than usual and there are a lot of great food sources in town where people have gardens, trash cans, etc. The bears are trying to put on their fat for the winter and prepare to go into a state of torpor when the conditions are right.”

Torpor is a state very similar to hibernation, but a bit different.  During torpor a bear’s heart rate, breathing, and body temperature decrease and the bear stops releasing bodily waste or eating. The big difference between hibernating and torpor is that during torpor, the bear can wake up easily if something threatens it.

So, come this winter, Rocky the bear will be going into torpor until he wakes up in spring.