Bear checks himself into The Lodge at Steamboat (with video)

A black bear wandered into the lobby of a condominium complex, and the front desk worker got it on video

Kailee Duryea was in the middle of a slow shift at the front office of The Lodge at Steamboat on Wednesday May, 18. Occupancy was less than 10%. The complex was quiet.

Cookies were left out on one of the coffee tables in the lobby, and it was a warm day outside so the backdoor was left open to create a soothing breeze.

Duryea was busy working on an occupancy report when she heard a noise coming from the lobby. At first, she thought it was a maintenance worker. It was, instead, a cinnamon-colored black bear that had found the cookies.

“They’re so opportunistic,” said Christy Bubenheim, an administrative assistant with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and chair of the Bear Aware Steamboat group.

Duryea recalled feeling unnerved but said she didn’t feel scared. She stayed behind the front desk and got on the phone with maintenance. While on the phone, she recorded video of the encounter.

The maintenance worker asked Duryea if she had any bear spray, to which she replies, “No, I don’t.”

She yelled at the bear to get out, and the bear seemed to agree that it was indeed time to leave, but wasn’t sure which way to go. The bear checked the front door for a moment but it was closed, so the bear turned around and approached Duryea at the front desk.

She yelled as the bear sped past her en route to the backdoor, where it exited the building.

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According to Duryea, the bear didn’t leave much of a mess aside from a few crumbs, and the animal wasn’t aggressive at all.

Bubenheim says during indoor encounters such as this, it’s best to be loud and try to funnel them toward an exit.

She also encourages people to report bear incidents so Colorado Parks and Wildlife can track the bear’s activity and try to prevent future incidents.

In some cases, if the bear is aggressive or forcibly enters a property, the bear would be euthanized. According to Bubenheim, peaceful encounters with bears, such as Duryea’s, typically don’t end in euthanasia.

Bubenheim says bears are known to walk through screen doors or even use their paws to open lever door handles. Car doors and windows are also vulnerable, and Bubenheim recommends keeping car doors locked and windows shut.

Duryea says she hasn’t seen the bear since.

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