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Colorado man's 'hey bear' prompting chases brown bear out of dumpster

By Ben Hooper
A dumpster diving bear's meal is interrupted in Colorado. Screenshot: JukinMedia
A dumpster diving bear's meal is interrupted in Colorado. Screenshot: JukinMedia

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo., June 21 (UPI) -- A Colorado man shared video of his encounter with a brown bear that climbed out of a dumpster and left at the man's casual prompting.

The video, posted to YouTube by user boatskier1, shows the man approach a dumpster in Steamboat Springs and say: "Hey bear."

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"Bear! Bear? Come on. Yeah, you. Hey!" the man says.

The bear then flips open the closed lid of the dumpster and climbs out.

"Yep, you," the man says as the bear looks at him. "Get out of here."

The bear follows instructions and walks away.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras said the encounter could have ended very differently.

"Once a bear loses its fear of humans, it's not likely to run off as quickly as it did," Porras told KDVR-TV. "And the next person that comes along may face a situation that puts their human health and safety at jeopardy."

Porras said the bear is likely to return to the dumpster, which he said should have been locked in accordance with a Steamboat Springs ordinance.

"He received a food reward out of that dumpster and it is very likely that bear will continue that behavior," Porras said. "It's very possible our wildlife officers will see that bear again."

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He cautioned anyone who spots a bear not to emulate the man's casual tone when trying to scare it away.

"It can be rather aggressive behavior [when scaring off a bear]. You can use an air horn, and in some cases our officers are now using a Taser to condition the bear that being around people is not a good thing," Porras said.

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