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Bears Break-In To Estes Park Home


bear-breaking-1Last weekend, a mama bear and her two cubs broke into a local residents home. The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous was will to tell us her story about the break-in, in hopes to help others from experiencing this event which luckily had a great outcome.

This is the story as told by the resident, “While returning to my home from a hike, my neighbor warned me that a sow and two cubs were just seen going up the driveway. My two Schnauzers and I entered the house through the garage when I spied a huge brown bear in the center of the living room. She had two small cubs which were adorable, with her.

Immediately, one of my Schnauzers attacked the mama bear. The mama grabbed my dog by the throat. I reacted by screaming and waving my arms. She exited through the small casement window which she had broken when entering. The cubs ran the opposite direction into the powder room. I quickly shut the door to the powder room, grabbed a phone, closed the dogs in my bedroom, held the entrance window shut (since it was broken), and phoned 911.

What seemed like hours later, but was actually just minutes, personnel from the Park Service, Larimer County, and Estes Park Police Dept. came to the the rescue. The mama bear kept circling the house, looking and calling for her cubs. She was very distressed. When the police/sheriff/Park personnel peeked into the bathroom, both cubs were sitting in the sink! The officers rigged up a route for the cubs to exit the house. When the bathroom door was opened, one cub ran outside and climbed a tree while the other ran into an office area and cuddled up in the dog bed under the computer. One of the officers, a very brave soul, picked up that cub and carried him to the door and he ran away. I understand that mama and babies were soon all reunited.

bear-breakin-02I am extremely grateful to all the wonderful personnel who helped remove the cubs from my home. They did exactly the correct thing, as the bears, my dog, and I are now doing fine; and I learned some valuable lessons as well. I chose to live in this wonderful place in part because of the wildlife. Even though I never expected to have some join me for dinner, I would not move for the world; and I’m so appreciative of those who helped to conclude this event with a happy ending. Thank you, everyone!

These were VERY polite bears. They ate the candy, wrappers and all, that was on the coffee table; however, they did not break the ceramic bowl! They drank the hummingbird food that was on the stove and moved the pot from one burner to another as if to tell me to please refill it for them (not!).

This homeowner is now proactive about keeping bears out of her home and in addition to following these tips below, she has installed an unwelcome mat around her home. Unwelcome mats are basically boards full of upward-pointing nails placed in front of doors and windows to discourage bears from entering buildings. They are simple and inexpensive to make.

Quite a dramatic story, here are some tips from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife to help keep bears out of your home.

• Many bears that enter homes do so through an unlocked or open window or door. Close and lock all bear-accessible windows and doors when you leave the house, and at night before you go to bed.

• If you must leave downstairs windows open, install sturdy grates or bars. Screens don’t keep out bears.

• Keep garage doors and windows closed and locked at night and when you’re not home. Don’t leave your garage door standing open when you’re not outside. Install extra-sturdy doors if you have a freezer, refrigerator, pet food, bird seed, or other attractants in your garage.

• Keep car doors and windows closed and locked if you park outside. Make sure there’s nothing with an odor in your vehicle, including candy, gum, air fresheners, trash, lotions and lip balms.

• Bears are great climbers — remove any tree limbs that might provide access to upper level decks and windows.

• Put on talk radio (not music) when you leave home; the human voice startles most bears.

Get Rid of Attractants

• Bears follow their super-sensitive noses to anything that smells like food, and can follow scents from up to five miles away.

• Don’t leave trash out overnight unless it’s in a bear-proof enclosure or container.

• Don’t store food of any kind in an unlocked garage, flimsy shed or on or under your deck.

• Don’t leave anything with an odor outside, near open windows or in your vehicle, even if you’re home. That includes scented candles, air fresheners, soaps and lotions.

• If a bear comes into your yard or close to your home, do yourself and the bear a big favor, and scare it away. A confident attitude plus loud noises like a firm yell, clapping your hands, banging on pots and pans or blowing an air horn sends most bears running.

• If a bear enters your home, open doors and windows and make sure it can leave the same way it got in. Don’t approach the bear or block escape routes.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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