A bear has been shot nine times after it broke into a Colorado home and attacked the owner.
Ken Mauldin was asleep at his home in Steamboat Springs when he was woken up by screams at 2 a.m., KUSA reported.
As Mauldin jumped out of bed, his wife yelled, “There’s a bear in the house.”
“So I grabbed a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun,” he told KUSA.
There are an estimated 17,000 to 20,000 black bears in Colorado. The population has grown in recent years, making conflicts with people more common.
Bears usually keep to themselves, but some will become accustomed to human food, making them bolder in approaching homes and people.
Mauldin told KUSA that as soon as he spotted the bear, he shot it nine times with his gun.
“I shot it as soon as I could shoot it,” he told the news outlet. “I shot it and then it attacked me and I kept shooting it. It backed up and changed direction, burst through our railing and landed on the stairs, and then it slid down and coiled up in a heap at the base of the building, on the stairs.”
He suspects the bear entered after the door to his home was unlocked.
“I just realized it was a bear and my first thought was to protect my family and shoot it,” Mauldin told KUSA.
A Colorado Parks and Wildlife official told KUSA that similar cases have been increasing in the neighborhood.
“We see bears entering homes often,” the news agency official said. “It appears we’ve seen an increase in the Steamboat region this year with bears entering through unlocked doors and windows.”
The department advises residents to call them if they encounter a bear in their home.
Human food is a major cause of human-bear conflict in the US. Once a bear has become accustomed to human food, it can be considered a nuisance. These food-conditioned bears have learned that approaching homes and people can result in rewards, often in the form of food scraps in trash or pet food.
Bears are typically a shy and withdrawn species, meaning they will usually back away from a human if the person lets themselves appear larger or makes a loud noise.
news week has reached out to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/bear-shot-nine-times-breaking-colorado-home-charging-owner-1735072 Bear shot nine times after breaking into Colorado home and charging owner