Wildlife officers in Colorado trapped a female black bear last Friday after the animal entered a home in a high-end neighborhood three times over a two-day span. Agents used trail camera images to confirm the bear’s identity and euthanized it as is “mandated for any bear that enters an occupied home,” Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) officials said in a May 6 press release.
“It’s extremely fortunate no one was injured by this bear when it confronted the homeowners in the kitchen,” said Tim Kroening, CPW’s Area Wildlife Manager for the Pikes Peak region. “This bear had become habituated to people, associating them as a food source. This created a dangerous situation when the bear was confronted in a confined space in the home.”
CPW said the black bear weighed anywhere from 225 to 250 pounds. It entered the home for the first time on Sunday, April 6—walking in through an opened door that led to a mud room. “The homeowner found muddy paw prints in the house and closed the door,” the press release states. “Before he had left the area, the bear had opened the door and was back inside the house. The bear was reluctant to leave their kitchen. Only after yelling and banging pots and pans did the bear retreat and leave the home.”
The bear break-in occurred in the Broadmoor neighborhood of Colorado Springs, a posh neighborhood in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains that CPW calls “prime bear habitat.” Through their trail camera footage, officials learned that the bear was visiting the property in search of food between 8 and 9 p.m. each night.
CPW Public Information Officer Bill Vogrin tells Field & Stream that the three-year-old female bear was likely drawn to the property by the presence of deer and elk that the homeowner had been feeding. The homeowners were issued a citation for attracting and feeding the wild ungulates, as well as a warning for “luring bears.”
“We are absolutely convinced that the bear was habituated by the behavior they described when it was in their house and the fact that it returned three times,” says Vogrin. “Once we trapped it, it was not scared of us. Normally, when we have a bear in a trap, it will pop its jaw and huff and spit and cower at the other end of the trap. This bear didn’t flinch. It didn’t care. It had no fear of humans whatsoever.”