Bear cubs stuck in bathroom at Estes Park home freed, momma bear was pacing outside

ESTES PARK, Colo. - Two tiny bear cubs stuck inside a bathroom at an Estes Park home have been freed and are now reunited with their mother, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office said.

The cubs were trapped in the bathroom for about an hour Friday afternoon, during which time the mother bear was anxiously pacing outside the home, said John Schulz, spokesman for the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.

The cubs broke into the home at Rockwood Lane, near Fish Creek Road, around 1:30 p.m.

They climbed in through the window off the deck, said Rick Spowart, district wildlife manager with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The homeowner, who was inside the house when the bears scrambled in, trapped the bears into the bathroom and called deputies.

The homeowner said she was staying inside the home because the mother bear was pacing outside and she had feared for her safety, Schulz said.

Deputies consulted with wildlife officers about how to remove the cubs without angering the mother, but eventually they just opened the bathroom door. 

"The one came out and the second cub, the police officer grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and tossed it out," Spowart said.

By 2:40 p.m., the cubs were running down the hill to join their momma.

The corporal at the scene said the baby bears were so small they both fit in the bathroom sink, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office said.

Spowart estimated that the cubs were 5 months old and about 15 pounds.

Deputies, parks rangers and animal control officers all responded to the scene.

The homeowner was not hurt and there was minimal damage inside the home, Spowart said.

However, the homeowner's dog got into a little tussle with the cubs before they were trapped in the bathroom and had to be taken to the veterinarian's office to be checked out.

"I think this was a pretty negative experience for the bears, which is a good thing. My understanding is they didn't get a food reward by going inside.  When the miniature schnauzer mixed it up with the cub ... so that was a negative experience. So they left with a negative experience, which is a good thing," Spowart said.

Spowart said the house has a hummingbird feeder hanging on the deck and that may have what lured the cubs there but they never drank from it.