A black bear opened the front door of a Colorado home, let itself in, and attacked a man inside

mmark@businessinsider.com (Michelle Mark)
An Aspen man said a bear opened the front door to the home he was staying in, and started rooting around the refrigerator.
An Aspen man said a bear opened the front door to the home he was staying in, and started rooting around the refrigerator.

YouTube/ABC News

  • A Colorado man said he awoke in the middle of the night to find a massive black bear in his kitchen.

  • The bear had entered the home through the front door, and took a swipe at the man, injuring his face and neck, Colorado Parks & Wildlife said.

  • "I literally thought I might be dead," 54-year-old Dave Chenosky told media, adding that the bear fled after he started yelling in a deep and loud voice.

  • Tracking dogs quickly found the bear, and wildlife managers euthanized it.

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A large black bear wandering a neighborhood in Aspen, Colorado, opened the front door to a home, let itself in, and took a swipe at the man inside, the man and wildlife officials said.

Dave Chenosky, 54, said he had been staying in his friend's home, and woke up to strange noises in the middle of the night.

"I laid there for a second thinking, 'I hope this isn't what I think it is,'" he told KDVR.

When Chenosky walked into the kitchen, he found himself confronted with a fully grown black bear who had already started opening up the refrigerator and freezer.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife said in a statement that the attack occurred around 1:30 a.m. on July 10, after the bear entered the home through the front door.

The bear took a swipe at Chenosky, lacerating the side of his head, face, and neck, before fleeing the home.

"I turned around in the hallway, looked him straight in the face, and he just went, 'Bam,' and hit me with his paw one time" Chenosky told ABC News, making a swiping gesture. "I literally thought I might be dead."

But Chenosky said he started screaming, using a deep and loud voice, until the bear "decided to go."

Tracking dogs quickly picked up the bear's trail, and wildlife managers euthanized it not long after the attack, KDVR reported.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife said in a statement the bear had likely been wandering around the neighborhood for days — it matched the description of a bear that was spotted several times by residents.

The agency added that staff have collected evidence from the bear and the scene of the attack to forensically confirm the bear euthanized was the same one who attacked Chenosky.

Wildlife manager Matt Yamashita warned residents in a statement to remain "vigilant and responsible," especially when it comes to managing trash and recycling. He also said people should keep their doors, windows, and cars locked to prevent bears from getting in.

"We never like to have to put an animal down but the protection of the public is paramount once a bear begins entering homes and responding aggressively toward people," Yamashita said.

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