STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said a black bear, which entered a man’s home in Steamboat Springs is dead after the man shot it multiple times.

The incident happened during the early morning hours of August 13 inside the man’s home. According to CPW spokeswoman Rachael Gonzales, the 400-pound black bear was able to flip the door’s handle and find dog food inside the home.

According to Gonzales, when the homeowner Ken Mauldin confronted the bear, he shot it multiple times, ultimately killing it. Gonzales said Mauldin had the right to shoot the bear, because he felt threatened and it was “within his legal rights to do so.”

In total, Colorado has at least 12,000 bears and break-ins aren’t uncommon. However, according to Gonzales, it’s rare that people shoot and kill bears in self-defense. She added, this specific bear was not tagged, so CPW is not sure whether it had previous incidents of breaking into homes in the area.

Gonzales tells FOX21 several bears have broken into homes this summer in Steamboat Springs, and reminds homeowners of a few tips when living in bear country:

  • Lock all doors and windows overnight, especially if they are on the first floor
  • Be sure to close garages
  • Don’t leave food in cars and be sure to lock all doors
  • Bring bird feeders, trash, and any food inside
  • For recycle bins, be sure to thoroughly wash out the containers before throwing them away

For additional bear safety tips in Colorado you can read more on CPW’s website, here.