A mature black bear found its way into an Aspen, CO home, where a man and his 12-year-old twins were sleeping. Dave Chernosky is lucky to be alive and well after a terrifying confrontation with a huge black bear, weighing in at around 400 pounds. Although unclear how the bear gained access to the home, it is very possible the bear let itself in through a door with a lever handle. Chernosky heard lots of noise coming from the kitchen area of the home his family was staying in, he got out of bed to investigate. His worst fear had been realized, a massive bear was in his kitchen looking for food. The bear was standing at the fridge and had made a complete mess of the kitchen.
Chernosky’s 12-year-old twins were asleep downstairs, he knew he had to act quickly to keep the bear from going downstairs. He tried to lure the bear into the garage, a plan that seemed like it was going to work. Until the garage door opener startled the bear and it ran back into the house! In a dashing effort to keep his children safe, he placed himself in between the bear and the stairs leading to his children. The bear struck him on the side of his head, spinning him around. The bear swiped again, this time at his back. Bleeding profusely, he was able to crawl away from the bear while shouting for the bear to leave. Luckily the bear was ready to leave by this time and found its way out of the house.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife located the bear with the help of tracking dogs and later euthanized it. It is believed to be the same bear that had been digging through trash cans for the previous few days in town. This bear has also avoided capture for a few years now, for similar trash digging behavior. They will compare samples from the carcass and from the home to certify that they found the right animal.
The authorities have little recourse when animals start frequenting populated areas. Most especially when entering homes and showing aggression towards humans. Dave Chernosky may very well have saved his children’s lives with his bold actions. He is also incredibly lucky to be alive and well after the bear almost took one of his eyes and nearly missed his carotid artery.