ESTES PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — Most of the time, videos that come from Estes Park are of elk. But a video taken early Friday morning captured something different: a black bear strolling through a hallway at the YMCA of the Rockies.
Anna Williams shared the video on Facebook. She works at the front desk of the YMCA.
“I heard a crash from the lobby, and went to go investigate. I thought it might be a human who needed help. The idea that it was a bear had crossed my mind, but I wanted to make sure so I could call security to report it. I walked down the hall, and sure enough, there was a giant black bear raiding the fridge,” shared Williams on Facebook.
She went on to explain what happened next.
“It saw me, and wheeled around to try to get out, but couldn’t get the door open. I ran back down to my room, called the front desk so security could be alerted, and then grabbed my phone to document the intruder. It seemed curious as I filmed it, but towards the end I think it felt threatened and trapped. It growled and started charging at me. That’s when I popped back into my room and shut the door. A little while later I heard security come in and chase it out,” said Williams.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is warning residents to be especially “bear aware” during this time of year, when the animals are hyper-active looking for food before hibernation.
CPW took more than 3,500 bear reports from April to August 2020. Most of those reports were of bears trying to access human food.
“It’s a problem across the state,” said Jason Clay, a CPW spokesperson.
Bears are eating as much as possible to prepare for hibernation, spending 20 out of every 24 hours looking for 20,000 calories every day.
“If people just take the necessary steps to secure the attractants around their home, then our conflicts that we see will go down,” said Clay.
CPW says there are lots of things you can and should do to discourage bears from your house and property, but most important, according to Clay: “Do not put your trash out until the morning of collection, take down your bird feeder, if you see a bear in your neighborhood, haze it away.”