Bear euthanized after entering homes in Steamboat Springs

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For the second time in two weeks, a bear has been shot after entering a house in Steamboat Springs to search for food.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo .– For the second time in two weeks, a bear has been shot after entering a house in Steamboat Springs in search of food.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said at around noon on Tuesday that a medium-sized black bear with brown fur entered a home through an unlocked sliding glass door and “received a big food award from the owner’s refrigerator.”

The owner told wildlife officers the same bear ripped a screen off the house the day before and entered another house in the neighborhood as well.

The wildlife officer believed this bear had become accustomed to human food and set a trap at the house. At around 6:45 am Thursday, the bear returned and got trapped. Wildlife officers responded and euthanized the bear.

“An overeating 200-pound bear that isn’t afraid to walk into a house in search of food is a dangerous bear that poses an imminent threat to humans,” the area’s wildlife official said, Kris Middledorf, in a statement. “Fortunately, this bear had not yet entered an occupied house. A wild bear in a confined space with humans would be very dangerous for owners. Unfortunately, we have had several similar situations in Steamboat Springs recently.

On September 7, another bear was shot after entering a Steamboat Springs home through an open garage door. The bear found itself trapped inside the house, also trapping the family who lived there.

RELATED: The Steamboat Springs Family Trapped In Their Home By A Black Bear

The responding wildlife officers euthanized the bear after being unable to get it out of the house after 45 minutes.

Sara Nance said that over the past week and a half, a bear has repeatedly attempted to enter her home near Fish Creek Falls Road.

“My husband was at the house and the bear came in,” Nance said. “He heard a bang. He went upstairs.”

“The bear was half in and half out,” she said. “He hadn’t been in our house very long and he had broken the screen.”

Nance said her husband scared the bear away, but he kept coming back – at least four times.

Nance has lived in Steamboat for 20 years and she said she used to coexist with bears, without fighting to keep them from entering her home.

CPW said reports of bear conflict were on the decline statewide this year, but they are on the rise in the Steamboat Springs area, and CPW doesn’t know why. It could be drought, a lack of natural food sources, or simply because people are getting better at reporting conflict with bears.

CPW said Colorado bears go into binge eating and will spend up to 20 hours a day trying to eat more than 20,000 calories a day to gain weight for the winter. As bears hunt for food, Colorado residents may see more bear activity in populated areas.

CPW said Coloradans should take care to secure food sources and other items around the house that may attract bears.

RELATED: 2 Cubs Orphaned After Their Mother Bear Was Shot Down By Poacher In Woodland Park

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