Steamboat bears surprise woman who was unloading groceries |

Steamboat bears surprise woman who was unloading groceries

Sarah Woodrum interrupted three bears hoping to make off with her groceries Monday afternoon outside this home on Meadowbrook Circle. One of the bears jumped inside Woodrum's car while she was taking groceries inside the home.

— Sarah Woodrum was hoping to finish unloading the back of her Toyota 4Runner after a trip to the grocery store. Instead, she was confronted by three black bears who had plans of their own.

The bears helped themselves to the contents in the back of Woodrum’s sport utility vehicle in a driveway on Meadowbrook Circle on Monday before she caught them in the act.

"I've never had a bear in my car before," Woodrum said. "It was a first for me."

Woodrum had just returned from the store after buying groceries for the family who lives in the residence. She took one bag inside the home, and when she went back outside to grab another bag, she saw the mother bear and her cub hanging out in the yard of the home.

"I thought I had better shut the back of the car, but when I looked over I noticed that there was another bear,” she said.

A second cub had jumped into the back of the SUV and was eating a bag of sweet potato fries.

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"I yelled at him to get out and clapped my hands," Woodrum said. "But I don't think he wanted to get out."

Woodrum retreated inside the home and called police and wildlife officials. When she returned, all three bears were in the yard. They left by the time officers arrived.

Woodrum said the car was not damaged, and most of the groceries were still in the car where she had left them.

"I normally pull up outside the house to unload groceries," Woodrum said. "But I think I will pull into the garage from now on."

The number of bear encounters in and around Steamboat Springs has been on the rise of late. Wildlife officials say bears are becoming more visible as they seek food in preparation for their winter hibernation.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email

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