‘My immediate thought was to protect my family’: Man fatally shoots bear inside home

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 1:52 PM EDT
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (KUSA) – A man in Colorado shot and killed a bear that entered his home over the weekend.

Fortunately, no one at the home was injured.

If a bear is willing to cross your driveway, hang on your front porch or crash a fundraiser, a home visit should come as no surprise, like one occurred at Ken Mauldin’s Steamboat Springs home on Saturday.

Mauldin said he was in bed at 2 a.m. when he said he was awakened by his wife screaming and his dogs “going crazy.”

“When I got out of bed, Kelly started screaming, ‘There’s a bear in the house,’” he said. “So, I grabbed a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun.”

Mauldin said he recognized the shape of a bear and fired nine times.

“I shot it as soon as I could shoot it,” he said. “I shot it and then it charged me, and I kept shooting at it. It backed up and changed directions, busting through our banister railing and landing on the stairs, and then it slid down and wound up in a pile at the bottom of the stairs.”

Mauldin said someone had left a door unlocked, which may have led to the bear getting inside.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said most bear encounters don’t end like this. The department said it rely on people to report problems with bears so wildlife officers can tailor advice to individual homes and neighborhoods.

“We do see bears getting into homes a lot,” an official with the department said. “It seems in the Steamboat area we have seen an increase in that this year with bears getting in through unlocked doors and windows.”

If a bear does happen to break into your home, the department said the best thing to do is to give them a call and report it.

Regardless of how it ends up, no one wants to face an unexpected visitor like a bear in their home.

“I just recognized that it was a bear, and my immediate thought was to protect my family and to shoot it,” Mauldin said.