Bear breaks into home, forcibly escapes ‘like the Kool-Aid Man’

Posted at 11:30 AM, Aug 12, 2019

ESTES PARK, Colo. - After breaking into a home on Friday night, a bear escaped in impressive fashion, the Estes Park Police Department said.

The bear entered the home near the area of Fall River Road, apparently attracted by a scent, police said in a Facebook post.

When an officer arrived, the bear "forcibly breached a hole in the wall like the 'Kool-Aid Man' and made (its) escape."

There were no reported injuries.

Homeowner John Sliwinski says the black bear got inside through a door about 11 p.m. Friday.

"Our neighbor from upstairs came knocking on the door saying, 'There’s something in your house trying to tear its way out'," Sliwinski told KDVR.

Sliwinski says the bear was trying to get to trash. It knocked the trashcan over, blocking the door through which it entered the home.

"He tore off the insulation. Tore out an outlet from the wall and started poking his claws through and his nose through and digging his way out," Sliwinski said.

He says the bear managed to claw its way out within minutes.

"Once he got his head through, he broke through the rest relatively quick," Sliwinski said. "It's amazing a bear that size can get out of a hole that small."

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says there has been an unusually high number of similar bear break-ins in the Estes Park area recently.

"Since late July, we’ve had over 35 vehicles where bears have entered into them," said CPW district wildlife manager Chase Rylands. "From my personal experience, it’s the highest I’ve seen in such a short amount of time."

Ryland says avoiding such bear encounters is simple.

"I always have this routine before I go to bed to check all the windows and doors of my house and my vehicles to make sure they’re closed and locked, not just for my safety but for the life and longevity of these bears as well," he said.