PITKIN, Colo. (CBS4) – A bear was euthanized after it entered the post office in the small mountain town of Pitkin overnight and made a big mess after it was unable to get out.
“When the post office opened, the post lady banged on my door and said she needed to barrow my phone because there was a bear in the post office and sure enough he has let himself in the door and couldn’t get out,” said Pitkin Mayor Rachel New.
Wildlife officials said the bear has been in trouble before and they had to euthanize the animal.
“Put paw prints all over the glass and ripped down anything that was not attached firmly. He only had access to the lobby and the only stuff in the lobby is the packaging that the post office sells, the boxes, envelopes, newspapers and books, so he got into all of that stuff, but no mail,” said New.
Photos of the bear show it has two ear tags, which means wildlife officers have dealt with the animal when it caused trouble in the past.
“We are in bear country, so we expect to have them rummaging around a little in town in the spring when they wake up,” said New.
The post office was closed on Friday while wildlife officers tried to figure out the best way to handle the situation. The bear was tagged last year in Buena Vista for bad behavior. He was relocated to Custer County.
It appears the bear got into the building easily but somehow pushed down a handle on the door and then couldn’t get back out.
“He only had access to the lobby and the only stuff in the lobby is the packaging that the post office sells, the boxes, envelopes, newspapers and books, so he got into all of that stuff, but no mail,” said New.
The town of Pitkin is located about 20 miles east of Gunnison right next to Gunnison National Forest.