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Displaced animals from wildfire are headache to homeowners

By Emily Allen, Multimedia Journalist /Target 13 Investigator , emily.allen@krdo.com
Published On: Jul 16 2013 12:42:04 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 16 2013 02:02:13 PM CDT

Wild animals displaced by the Black Forest Fire returned home Tuesday, and their return was a headache for homeowners.

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -

Wild animals displaced by the Black Forest Fire returned home Tuesday, and their return was a headache for homeowners.

The smell of burned wood still lingers in the air more than one month after the fire tore through the Black Forest. Wild animals can't find food in the charred shrubs and burned ground. They're looking for food elsewhere, and that's a headache for homeowners.

"It looks like they've torn apart the bird house and taken the nest out," said Sparky Parker.

Parker lives in Black Forest. His bird house and beehive are under attack.

"The beehive had been knocked backwards," said Parker. "In the lid, all the honey comb, there was 10 great big honey combs that had been broken off."

Parker knew who to blame for the mess - a hungry bear.

"I couldn't tell what it was because it was 6 o'clock in the morning.  It wasn't quite light yet, I'm looking out my bedroom window," said Parker. "I saw the head move. I said, that's a bear.'"

Parker's property was untouched, but it's not far from the fire's path. Displaced animals are scrounging for food in his back yard.

"I've been here three years and I have never seen a bear. I've seen a lot of deer, an occasional fox, lots of birds and squirrels, never ever a bear," said Parker.

"There isn't a lot of vegetation for these animals to feed on, they are moving over to his property to find that food resource," said Sabrina Hurwitz.

Hurwitz works for Colorado's Division of Wildlife. Hurwitz said wildlife by temporarily be displaced, but the fire will help species in the long run.

The forest had a smaller variety of vegetation before the fire. New growth in the burn scar after the fire will bring more

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