Bear on lunch mission destroys Suburban in Steamboat Springs |

Bear on lunch mission destroys Suburban in Steamboat Springs

Matt Stensland
Steamboat Pilot & Today
A bear destroyed the interior of this Suburban in 2017 while Moving Mountain housekeepers were working inside a home.
Courtesy of Robin Craigen

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A Steamboat Springs lodging company is down one Suburban after a bear ravaged the vehicle Thursday morning.

Moving Mountains owner Robin Craigen said housekeepers left the car unlocked while they tended to a house on Temple Knoll off of Burgess Creek Road. The housekeepers had a surprise waiting for them when they returned to the Suburban.

“They went to the car and saw a little black bear face staring at them from inside the car,” Craigen said.

Craigen is guessing the bear smelled the lunches that the housekeepers had left in the Suburban. The bear broke into the car and then the door closed behind the bear. The bear destroyed the interior.

“I guess he panicked,” Craigen said.

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A brave maintenance worker arrived to help and made what Robin considered a “bad choice.”

“He waited until the bear was on the other side of the car, and he pulled the door open and ran,” Craigen said.

Craigen said he would have preferred the maintenance worker call Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers. Craigen thinks the 2001 Suburban might be totaled.

“I’m worried that it might be,” he said.

Craigen, who lives in the Burgess Creek Road area, said there has been a lot of activity in the area lately. A couple weeks ago, guests showed him a picture of a bear on top of their rental car. Craigen said the event serves as a valuable reminder to everyone in the community to lock their car doors.

“The last thing we want to see happen is bears getting euthanized,” Craigen said.

So far this year, Parks and Wildlife has euthanized two bears that broke into homes and damaged property.

“Our biggest concern is public safety,” Area Wildlife Manager Kris Middledorf said.

He said wildlife officers are fielding multiple calls daily for bears that have entered homes and garages and damaged property. Middledorf said there are a lot of problems in the Burgess Creek Road.

It has been unusually warm this summer, but Middledorf said it is important that residents keep their lower level doors and windows secured. Some residents also need to do a better job keeping trash out of reach from bears.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @sbtstensland.

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