A Boulder County family that has watched bears roam through their neighborhood for the last 10 to 15 years got an up close and personal visit from a bruin early Monday morning.
The family told Boulder County deputies they were awakened when Sienna, the family's Russell Terrier-Shepherd mix, started barking. The family saw that a bear had entered their home after ripping off the screen door and was rummaging through the pantry.
Sienna bolted in front of the bear when the bear spotted the family.
"She made herself sound very fierce and very big, even though she's just a little 30-pound dog," said Brenda Fischer.
"When I heard my mom say there's a bear in the house, it was a scary thing," added Reed, Brenda's son.
Brenda's husband, Paul, said he was trying to give the bear room to maneuver out the house.
"As I was trying to do that, the bear charged at me. I had the shotgun and I shot it and it kept charging," Paul said.
He shot the bear three times with a shotgun, wounding it. That third shot stunned the bear and allowed the family to run out of the house and to their car.
When deputies arrived, they found the bear still inside the home, wounded and bleeding. They too experienced the bears aggressiveness.
"They tried to create a way so it could get outside, so they could put it down outside, but then it started charging at the officers," said Commander Rick Brough of the Boulder County Sheriffs Office.
Deputies fired a handgun at the bear but one of the bullets bounced off its head and struck a window. Deputies finally killed it with a rifle.
"I didn't really see it," said Brittany, Brenda and Paul's daughter. "I heard it, but I didn't really want to see it."
The bear was a 2-year-old male that weighed 120 pounds. The Division of Wildlife believes that it was recently kicked out of the den and was trying to establish its own territory.
The family told deputies that the bear had been on their property several times recently. On Tuesday, the bear had tried to get through a door and had torn the screen off. On Thursday the bear returned and broke into one of their vehicles. Paul was confident it was the same bear because of a wound on its front left paw.
"I don't know exactly how he forced the door open but it doesn't close right any more," Paul said.
This was the fourth time in five days a bear has broken into a Boulder County home in search of food.
"We know there are several bears in the area," said Kristin Cannon, of the DOW. "We don't know if all the house break-ins are due to one bear or multiple bears."
Cannon said this year the bears have plenty of food because of all the wet weather, so she is unsure why they are having these problems.
The DOW wanted to remind people to bear-proof their property. Helpful tips may be found on the Colorado Division of Wildlife's Web site
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