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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Gino Spocchia

Man shoots dead 400-pound bear after it opened door to his home in Colorado ski town

Ken Mauldin via Steamboat Radio

A Colorado man fatally shot a 400-pound bear after it opened the door to his home in the middle of the night and began rummaging through dog food.

Ken Mauldin shot the bear multiple times after the bear opened his front door just after 2am on Monday,  Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said.

The bear rummaged through dog food inside the home in Steamboat Springs, a ski town about 110 miles northwest of Denver, before being confronted by Mr Mauldin.

The homeowner said he awoke when his wife discovered the bear and screamed.

“When I went to my bedroom door, I saw the bear about 10 feet away and I shot it instantly with a 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun,” M Mauldin told Steamboat Radio.

“Then the bear charged me. I continued shooting at it as fast as I could. The bullet hole in the floor suggested the bear got about five to six feet from me when he backed up, changed directions, and crashed through the banister railing onto the stairs, where he collapsed at the bottom of the stairs.”

Mr Mauldin and his wife were uninjured in the encounter with the bear, which Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Rachel Gonzalez said was the latest to break into a property.

“Steamboat, that area, they’ve been dealing with bears getting into homes all summer long,” said the department spokesperson. “It’s not impossible that this bear learned the behaviour from another bear.”

Ken Mauldin snapped this photo of wildlife officials removing the bear from his property in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (Ken Mauldin via Steamboat Radio)

Residents of the Yampa Valley town have been warned to lock their doors and windows and to secure waste in “bear proof” bins to avoid encounters with the bears.

“These types of incidents are preventable,” Ms Gonzalez added. “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.”

She added that although people shooting bears is uncommon, Mr Mauldin had a legal right to shoot the bear if he felt threatened.

This bear was not tagged and the department did not know if it was involved in other break-ins that have occurred around Steamboat Springs, Ms Gonzalez said.

An estimated 12,000 bears live in Colorado.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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