Black Bear Traps Itself in House with Colorado Family, Euthanized by Responding Wildlife Officers

by Courtney Blackann

A scary moment for a Colorado family occurred when they found themselves stuck inside their home with an unlikely guest: a giant black bear.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) responded to the incident which happened Sept. 7 in Steamboat Springs, Col. The family said their garage was open when a black bear wandered into it. It then decided to come inside, trapping itself – and the family.

After 45 minutes of trying to lure the bear outside, CPW was unsuccessful with their attempts. They ultimately had to euthanize the bear to protect the humans stuck inside.

“The bear was put down for reasons of health and human safety,” CPW said in the Wednesday press release, according to 9News.

While the ending isn’t altogether happy for the bear, the CPW said it’s not uncommon for bears to wander closer to urban areas this time of year. As the black bear population gets ready to hibernate throughout the winter, they tend to travel further from their homes in search of food.

This is probably what the bear was doing when he wandered into the garage of the family’s home.

Further, black bears can eat up to 20,000 calories over the course of one day in preparation for their hibernation.

“Coloradans should be careful to secure attractants and food sources around their house that can attract bears,” CPW said.

Black Bears and Human Encounters

Homes aren’t the only spaces black bears are invading. In recent weeks, another Colorado location had to shut down due to black bear activity – though this time it was a campground, not a residence, that was in trouble.

The White River National Forest shut down its Avalanche Campground after multiple interactions between humans and bears made the area unsafe.

The area is located off of route Colorado 133. It’s a small campsite with six first-come-first-serve campsites. In a press release issued by the  United States Forest Service, authorities said they would close the area to protect both campers and bears.

“Nearly all problems with black bears at campgrounds can be traced to improper food storage,” the service said in the press release.

Officials warn campers of proper food storage throughout all parks – and most have a proper food storage order in place.

However, when one black bear got so close that it destroyed a camper’s tent, the USFS made the call to shut it down.

“The White River National Forest has a food storage order in place for all of its developed campgrounds…to help prevent black bears and other wildlife from obtaining food from humans and becoming a nuisance or dangerous,” the release explains.

Black bears typically stay away from humans. However, the behavior of bears in the area was a clear sign they knew where to find food. Officials felt given the time of year, it was best to keep the campsite closed for the remainder of the season.