A viral video of a 400-pound bear foraging in a Colorado woman’s garage has taken a weird twist.
The bear followed Denielle Backstrom, of Colorado Springs, into her garage when she pulled in on Tuesday.
“I hear this loud breathing sound,” Backstrom told KRDO in Colorado Springs. “I kind of opened my door ... and the bear was right there.”
She videotaped the encounter, which was shared by Colorado Parks and Wildlife on its Facebook page, and by local TV, and grabbed international attention.
The bear put its nose right up to her window.
“Ahhhh,” she yelled. “Oh my ...”
She honked the horn as the bear ambled over to a refrigerator and sniffed at it.
“Freakin’ bear. Get out of my garage!” she yelled. “Shoo, bear, shoo!”
After several more honks the bear trotted out of the garage and stood behind her vehicle. She closed the garage door and called Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Parks and Wildlife officials came and set a trap behind Backstrom’s house. If they catch the bear, it will have to euthanized, area wildlife manager Frank McGee told KRDO.
“It’s because this bear has demonstrated it doesn’t have a fear of people,” McGee told the TV station.
People who saw the video are not happy at that news and some even blame Backstrom for reporting the bear.
“Too bad the bear had to be put down,” wrote one man on the department’s Facebook page. “The homeowner was at fault.”
Backstrom told KRDO she called authorities because her kids play in and around the garage and their home and she feared for their safety.
McGee said the euthanization could have been avoided if other people had reported encounters with the bear so it could have been taught to avoid humans.
“This woman is not to blame, but someone in her neighborhood sure is,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Bill Vogrin told the Gazette in Colorado Springs. “People need to help us keep wild animals wild."
When a bear is found in a neighborhood, officers will typically make loud noises, use pepper spray or fire rubber bullets to shoo it away and discourage it from coming back, Vogrin told the newspaper.
A bear gets two chances. They are tagged on their ears when they wander into public areas. When both ears are tagged, Parks and Wildlife officials euthanize them.
But this bear was so unfazed by Backstrom’s efforts to shoo it away that officials deemed it dangerous.
The agency tags and relocates about 100 bears, and euthanizes about 100 more, every year across the state, according to the Gazette.
“That’s our last resort. We hate having to do that,” Vogrin told the Gazette. “But human health and safety is our primary concern, and when they become dangerous, we're left with no choice.”
This bear is thought to weigh more than 400 pounds, 100 pounds more than the heaviest average adult bear weighs, wildlife officials estimated.
This same bear is suspected of stealing M&M’s ice cream from a neighbor’s freezer a few blocks from Backstrom’s house.
Appealing to that sweet tooth, wildlife officials baited the trap with doughnuts, icing, syrup and dog food, the Gazette reported.