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Hungry bear stops to raid refrigerator

A bear with a light touch and an appetite for yogurt and cookies startled a couple early Wednesday when it broke into their fashionable foothills home and ransacked their refrigerator.

Pam and Dan Seats and their infant were sleeping about 1 a.m. when they heard a noise in the kitchen, said state Division of Wildlife spokeswoman Pat O'Connor.

"Dan Seats found the bear eating out of the freezer," she said.

Seats phoned 911, but before Jefferson County deputies could respond, the bear crawled out the window.

District wildlife managers placed two culvert-style bear traps at the rear of the home Wednesday.

"We found a window was left open for ventilation, and the bear climbed the steps to the rear deck and pushed in the window screen to enter," manager Susan Warner said. "As it came into the dining area, it stepped right in an infant playpen under the window."

The bear scarfed down a half-gallon of frozen yogurt, a bag of bagels, some cheese and a bag of tortilla chips.

It also lifted the top off a cookie jar, polishing off the cookies without breaking a thing.

"This, of course, was a very dangerous situation and we were very lucky no one was hurt," Warner said while helping her colleagues mix a sure-fire bear trap bait _ a sickeningly sweet mixture of blueberry pie filling, cinnamon oil, anise oil and doughnuts.

She said one deputy saw a brown-colored black bear waddling down the slope from the home and heard something else in the woods, so there could be a cub. Two traps were set.

Warner said shortly before the Seats' call, she had been at a home three miles west of the Seats' home, where another bear broke into a chicken coop and killed several animals and trashed a beehive.

Other bear incidents along the Front Range in the past two weeks include:

A bear near Castle Rock tore siding from a house as it tried to get at a wasp nest. It was trapped and relocated.

A yearling bear that had gotten into a beehive was killed June 5 by a vehicle near Missouri Lake.

A mature male bear was killed June 7 crossing Interstate 70.