Rural residents see spike in bear encounters

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- Reports of bear encounters are on the rise and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office responded to reports of a bear inside a home in the town of Pine on Sunday.

The call came in around 11:53 a.m. of a possible bear inside a home in the 1200 block of Parker Avenue in Pine, according to the sheriff's office.

The homeowners told authorities that they saw a bear in their basement. According to Jenny Fulton with the Jefferson County Sheriff's office, the bear was gone from the home when authorities arrived on scene just after noon. It appears that the bear tore open a screen door in search for  food.

Authorities also confirmed that the homeowners had left trash in their basement while they waited for their garbage pick-up date.

Another resident of Pine claims a bear charged at him last week. "I didn't know what to think but the reaction I had was to shut the window and I shut it real quick, cause it was almost face to face with me and it was going to crawl through that window, I guarantee it, said Joe Heintzman.

This is hardly the first report of an increase of bear activity near humans.

A young girl near Grand Junction made headlines when a bear bit her while she waited for her father outside in the very early morning hours.

The girl was not seriously injured and her parents declined an ambulance but the 5-year-old was treated for her wounds and hospitalized overnight.

A bear that broke into a Pitkin, Colorado post office Thursday night has been euthanized, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

Joe Lewandowski, from the southwest regional office for CPW, said this was the bear’s second strike.

Deputies and Colorado Parks and Wildlife respond to and investigate any bear encounters.

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