How many firemen does it take to remove a baby bear from a second-storey apartment? Five. And two sheriff’s deputies just for good measure…


When a resident in a small Colorado town woke up to the sounds of a bear rummaging through his fridge recently, he did what most of us would likely do: barricaded himself in his bedroom and called the fire department.

A crew from the Eagle River Fire Protection District, along with a couple of deputies from the local sheriff’s office, responded to the call. Using a series of strategically executed vocal commands – “Go on, bear!”, "Bad bear!" – and some tentative knocking on the wall, they succeeded in shooing away the frightened bear burglar.

Black bears have long roamed the forests and foothills of Colorado, but urban development has been encroaching on those age-old stomping grounds, making encounters like this one more and more common. Thanks to their super-sensitive sense of smell, bears are easily lured into homes and gardens by the scent of tasty leftovers or piles of unsecured trash.

Although black bears are unlikely to attack people, keeping food sealed up and garbage stashed out of reach is important if you live near their habitats. Bears that become too comfortable around humans will likely be identified as problem animals and will have to be destroyed.

Fortunately for all involved in this incident, the bear was a more-fluffy-than-fearsome juvenile (we’re not sure that a few "Bad bear!" reprimands would have been enough to scare off an adult black bear!).


Header image: Ben Forsyth