This pizza is just right: a family of hungry black bears broke into a Colorado pizza shop in search of food before going into hibernation this winter.
The owners of Antonio's Real New York Pizza in Estes Park outside of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado got a rude surprise when they discovered a that a family of hungry black bears broke into the shop for a midnight snack the previous evening.
A mother bear and two cubs entered the shop after ripping the drive-through window out and then climbing through the resulting hole in the wall. They then trashed the pizza parlor while helping themselves to all the salami and pizza dough they could find.
The shop's security camera caught the escapades of the three hungry bears on video.
Update 10-14-2017: As you know, a momma bear and two cubs broke into our store, but only after they tried unsuccessfully to open the bear proof dumpster for several minutes. This video has reached the entire planet and resonated loudly with many good souls. I've been thinking long and hard about how to help them since we effectively issued the offending bears a death warrant by locking up trash and forcing their hands: either they break into places or starve when natural resources become low. What I realized is that for the last 100 years, opportunistic bears have learned through being taught by their mothers that where there are humans, there is food. This teaching is secondary to what they could already smell from miles away. The cubs are executed for being hungry? Are we really this callous? I, for one, am not! They say a photo is worth a thousand words and this one is worth a few million: cubs wait patiently for their mother to feed them. How can anyone look at those cubs and say "they have to die". God did not give us these creatures to kill wantonly- especially after we created the problem by moving into their wilderness! Remember that before Americans existed, Bears were part of American Indian life and they lived harmoniously. Respect was given to bears. Think about this: if a young man repeatedly raided my dumpster, starving, would we kill him? Of course not, we would help him.By locking up trash tightly, we have inadvertently led them to the windows and doors of our homes or businesses when food sources become exhausted at the end of the season - just when the bears need them most. In the past, they raided dumpsters then hibernated. We failed to notify the helpless bears that the game was changing. Why?When will humanity own their mistakes and create a plan not just to issue citations and collect revenue from ordinances that say "checkmate" to a bear who doesn't know how to play chess, and instead, break the cycle by planting trees and shrubs that could feed the bears? All we need to do is plant the trees and the bears will take it from there by naturally propagating seeds throughout the forest! The DOW says that carcass relocation doesn't work and I can tell you that people will kill for food and do all over the world, regularly, so what makes it a capital offense for bears to raid a dumpster? What would we lose by relocating road kill? It's already dead and bears can smell a carcass from 20 miles away. We need to be the change.Please forward this to whoever can help me orchestrate change, ASAP. Thank you. firstname.lastname@example.org BEARS! Momma and her 2 cubs break into Antonio’s, proceed to eat our dough and find their way to the salami. A note to police for the future: if bears break into our stores, please don’t shoot them. Every dumpster in town is now bear proof which leaves only our homes, cars and businesses. The bears ripped a window out of the wall at our drive thru on Moraine Ave! While I don’t advocate feeding wildlife in any way, I believe it would have been much better to have left the old dumpster tops in place because they wouldn’t become desperate enough to break into houses or businesses and the damage in dollars would be much lower. We’ve now forced the bears’ paws to break into homes and businesses. This could have been so much worse.
Posted by Antonio's Real New York Pizza on Sunday, October 8, 2017
Incidents like this aren't common, but they aren't exactly rare either. Black bears live in close proximity to human beings all over North America and quite often associate people with food. When that happens, bears often cause trouble by getting into trash cans or even breaking into cars in search of food. This sort of behavior only intensifies as they try to pack on the pounds before going into hibernation for the winter.
In areas like Estes Park where bears are a common sight, residents are even more careful about removing easy to access food sources and using bear resistant trash cans and dumpsters. While that is good for a number of reasons, it can sometimes have the unintended result of increasing the likelihood of bears doing things like breaking into homes and businesses looking for food.
The owners of this pizza shop are asking police not to kill the bears responsible. In a post on the businesses' Facebook page the owners state state:
"Every dumpster in town is now bear proof which leaves only our homes, cars and businesses. The bears ripped a window out of the wall at our drive thru on Moraine Ave! While I don't advocate feeding wildlife in any way, I believe it would have been much better to have left the old dumpster tops in place because they wouldn't become desperate enough to break into houses or businesses and the damage in dollars would be much lower. We've now forced the bears' paws to break into homes and businesses."
This is just another reason why you shouldn't feed wildlife. So, lock your car doors, keep your trash cans in your garage, and do your best to secure your homes and businesses to keep wildlife out. It's good for you and good for them.