Officers investigate bloody bear paw prints in Steamboat Springs |

Officers investigate bloody bear paw prints in Steamboat Springs

— A resident on Willowbrook Court was concerned when she discovered bloody bear paw prints on her driveway Saturday morning.

At first, it was thought the bear might have been shot because a neighbor reported gunshots Friday night, said Steve Znamenacek, district wildlife manager for the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. Instead, wildlife officials think the bear injured itself while going through a Dumpster at the Walton Pond Apartments. The bear had not been located Saturday, but Znamenacek said he was able to trace the paw prints back to the Dumpster by the laundry building.

"It was still walking pretty well," Znamenacek said. "We could tell by the stride."

He then was able to look at surveillance video footage that showed the bear visited the Dumpster at about 11:30 p.m. Friday and hurt its front left foot possibly because of something inside the Dumpster.

"All indications are that it hurt itself," Znamenacek said.

Also Friday night, there was a report of a bear that got into a home in the 2300 block of Val D'Isere Circle. Area wildlife manager Jim Haskins said there was no sign of forced entry, but the home had flat door handles, which bears are able to open.

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"We take those calls pretty seriously," Haskins said.

Wildlife officers are seeing a lot of bear activity in the Steamboat area. Haskins said the good news is that it could start to slow down because a lot of the female bears are going to start going into dens for winter hibernation.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email

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