Officials say bear sightings are on the rise in the Denver area as the animals struggle to find food in preparation for their winter hibernation.

Jennifer Churchill, a spokeswoman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, says a combination of wet weather and sudden freezes in northeastern Colorado has stunted the growth of the berries the bears rely in the mountains.

As a result, the animals have been making their way to town for other nourishment as they try to bulk up for their winter hibernation.

A 2 1/2 -year-old bear was found Friday in a backyard tree in suburban Centennial. It was tranquilized and a crowd gathered to see wildlife officers load it in a carrier for a trip back to the mountains where they hope it will stay.

Authorities believe it was likely the same bear that prompted a reverse 911 warning to residents Wednesday.