Colorado man shoots, kills bear after it entered his home

A black bear is pictured in this undated photo. Ken Mauldin of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, grabbed a gun and fatally shot a bear after it entered his home Saturday.

A black bear is pictured in this undated photo. Ken Mauldin of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, grabbed a gun and fatally shot a bear after it entered his home Saturday. (Division of Wildlife Resources)



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

DENVER — A Colorado man had a rude awaking early Saturday morning when a roughly 400-pound bear flipped the lever doorknob to his home and rummaged through some dog food, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said Monday.

The homeowner, Ken Mauldin, grabbed a gun and shot the bear multiple times until it collapsed and died just after 2 a.m., said Rachael Gonzales, spokeswoman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Nobody was injured, she said. Officers removed the animal from the house, located in the ski-resort town of Steamboat Springs. Maulding had a legal right to shoot the bear if he felt threatened, Gonzales said.

Colorado has roughly 12,000 bears and break-ins aren't uncommon in Rocky Mountain towns. People shooting and killing bears in self-defense, however, is rare, said Gonzales.

This particular male bear was not tagged and the department does not know if it was involved in other break-ins, she said.

"Steamboat, that area, they've been dealing with bears getting into homes all summer long," said Gonzales. "It's not impossible that this bear learned the behavior from another bear."


It's not impossible that this bear learned the behavior from another bear.

–Rachael Gonzales, Colorado Parks and Wildlife


Residents of Steamboat Springs are warned by the agency to lock doors and windows, secure their trash and recycling in bear-proof bins, and even take down bird-feeders to prevent these kind of confrontations.

"These types of incidents are preventable," said Gonzales. "Bears are very smart. Once they learn that it's easy to access food in a certain area, they are going to keep doing it."

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly spelled the name of a spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. She is Rachael Gonzales, not Rachel Gonzalez.

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Jesse Bedayn, report For America

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