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Bear 'Wasn't A Choosy Eater,' Ransacks Boulder County Home

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - The owners of a remote Boulder County cabin say they returned home Saturday morning to find a large bear tearing through the house. Todd Wallace said he, and his wife, were about to walk in the front door around 12:30 a.m. when his wife peered through the window.

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"My wife was standing beside me and said, 'There is a bear in the house,'" Wallace told CBS4's Dillon Thomas. "It kind of gets your energy going a little bit."

The bear's back was to the couple, and it never saw them standing feet away separated only by a thin sheet of glass in the door. The bear, guessed to be 8 feet tall when standing, had torn through nearly their entire living room and kitchen area. It was successful in opening cabinets, and even eating nearly every item of food in the stocked fridge.

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"It ate anything from noodles, to sugar, to meat. He wasn't a choosy eater. He wanted it all," Wallace said.

The Wallace's retreated to their vehicle and called the Boulder County Sheriff's Office for help. An hour later the deputy arrived and was able to clear the home. The bear, not known if male or female, had already ran away.

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Todd Wallace (credit: CBS)

"I entered the residence this morning and was observing the damage," Wallace said. "There was food and debris all over the floor."

With feet between each visible paw print, Wallace said it was proof the bear was as large as it appeared at first glance.

His house had wrappers, dishes, furniture and more scattered around the entire first floor. A china cabinet was pulled to the ground, and the dishwasher was pulled out from the countertop.

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"(The bear) obviously got into the refrigerator, and did some pretty significant damage. It emptied it out for the most part, and enjoyed a pretty good meal," Wallace said.

The refrigerator had scratch marks on it, and the shelves on the interior were broken and cleared.

The cabinets above the refrigerator were damaged, with the bear ripping out one of the doors.

As Wallace awaited the delivery of a bear trap from Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, he noticed the bear also took some food for the road. Around 40 feet down the steep hill from the property a bag of organic flour was left behind.

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Parks and Wildlife set a trap for the bear stocked with food. The trap would hopefully draw in the bear so it could be relocated to property away from homes.

The Wallace's, who live most of the year in Florida, said they were shocked to see how easily the bear entered their home. They believed locks, motion-activated lights and more would keep a bear or mountain lion away.

"We thought we were in pretty good shape," Wallace said.

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Wallace said he was contacting his insurance company to see if he had "bear coverage," and looked forward to fixing his property. He said he knew he would be living in wildlife territory when he bought the property. However, he expected them to stay outside of the house.

"Material things are reparable, people aren't. We are pretty happy about that," Wallace said.

CBS4 learned late Saturday night the bear was caught in the trap and will be relocated.

LINK: Living With Bears

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