Bear tries to hibernate under Nederland family’s home

Local News

NEDERLAND, Colo. (KDVR) — A family is breathing a sigh of relief after a bear was chased away after trying to den under their home.

A husband and wife had no idea the bear was about to hibernate under their home until this week, when one day, a dog’s bark shattered the silence.

Turns out there was a bear in the backyard.

“Then the bear came out and was right by the door and I was inches away from it except for the glass door, and I’m thinking this is a wild animal,” Judith Payne said.

Little did Judith and her husband Michael know the bear was planning to stay for a while.

“I said, ‘That’s not good.’ We’ve had bears wander through before, but none settling in,” Michael said.

A dog named Champ spooked the bear into a hole it had dug. The hole led to a den it was building 4 to 5 feet under the Payne’s home.

“I didn’t know. I don’t think he’d been there that long. They are just now starting to settle in during the next couple of weeks for the winter, so I’m sure it (the hole) was rather new,” Michael said.

The Paynes called Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Sam Peterson to help ferret the bear out with the smell of ammonia.

It worked. Out came the bear, which quickly scurried away.

“We’re encroaching on their habitat, really. We are their guests. These things are going to happen living up here,” Michael said.

The Paynes were thankful their guest left sooner than it had expected.

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