ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4)– The Colorado bear seen walking through the lobby at the famous Stanley Hotel last month could be facing a death sentence if captured.
A hotel employee’s camera recorded the black bear standing on a couch and cautiously sauntering past the front desk late on a Wednesday night in August.
CBS4 has confirmed Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are actively trying to capture the bear now considered “aggressive” after more bear-human interactions were reported near the hotel.
“It is a dangerous bear that has lost its natural fear of humans and associated humans as a food source since it has been rewarded with food in town,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.
Recently, a trap was set for the bear near the hotel, but the trap has since been removed because the bear might have left the area.
According to CPW spokesperson, if they capture the bear pictured inside the hotel and can positively identify it, it will likely be euthanized.
Wildlife officials say they’ve had numerous other incidents with a bear that appears to have no regard for humans. On one occasion, they say, a bear got into two unsecured trash cans on Big Thompson Avenue, and a wildlife officer chased the bear away from a shopping center.
On Sept. 16, wildlife officials say the bear was back at the Stanley hotel lobby and ballroom. They say it ate cupcakes and other food and then barricaded itself. Officer lured the bear out with more cupcakes and then “exposed the bear to OC spray.”
Later that same night, an employee saw the bear banging on a trash lid, and the bear “bluff charged” the employee after they threw a lid toward the bear.
Officials detailed an even more disturbing encounter that same night when the bear sniffed and brushed the back of an employee’s head as he was lying on a couch in a dorm house. The man screamed, and the bear ran outside, but stopped on the other side of the road.
Officials detailed more incidents through Sept. 24.
Some residents claim that they have seen unsecured trash in the area.
Estes Park Police Department officials say they have issued a “couple dozen” citations to residents and businesses under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance already this year. The ordinance placed restrictions on commercial establishments to have wildlife resistance trash bins.
Estes Park confirmed Friday it has cited the hotel once for improperly stored trash.
Reed Rowley of the Stanley Hotel says the hotel’s trash is totally secure, and they work to keep it away from bears. He noted there have been more incidents with bears in Estes Park than in past years.