By Tori Mason

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– Bears and humans are crossing paths more frequently as Colorado’s population continues to grow. During the summer, bears need to eat 20,000 calories a day to gain enough fat to survive the winter without eating. One bear found a meal inside a Boulder County home Thursday.

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Neighbors in the Gunbarrel community saw the bear snacking around the area all morning.

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“He came through my yard twice today. This morning I looked out the window and saw him raiding the bird food feeder. He returned this afternoon to top off his stomach I guess,” said neighbor Janice Coen.

Down the road, Ken Thomas says this was the first time he’d seen a bear in the 43 years he’s lived there.

“It seemed content eating out of the bird feeders. I was surprised that he went into someone’s house,” said Thomas.

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the bear entered a home on Petursdale Court through an open window, devoured the cat food, and left the same way he came in. Residents home at the time were not injured.

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“You hear about that a lot more in mountain towns where a many homes or cabins don’t have air conditioning,” said Jason Clay, CPW. “Bears can go through windows very easily. Bears can open your front door easily depending on what type of door handle you have.”

Clay says west of Interstate 25 is typically bear habitat, but some do wander east of the interstate.

“Gunbarrel is getting out a little bit on that edge where maybe residents don’t expect that. Now that they know there are bears in the area, it’s time to take proper precautions,” said Clay.

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Bears that get too comfortable around people can destroy property and become a threat to human safety. CPW suggests bear-proofing your living space to prevent your home from becoming a known spot for food.

CPW can relocate bears, but it’s not a fix-all solution. A bear relocated in Boulder last month was killed by a vehicle on its way back to a known area with food.

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The cat-food-eating bear last seen wandering around Gunbarrel has not been captured.

Tori Mason