A startled Colorado homeowner emptied his pistol on a 400-pound bear that broke into his family’s home in a frightening encounter that resulted in the animal’s death.
After being woken up at about 2 a.m. Saturday, Ken Mauldin fired his 40-caliber pistol at the massive creature after it came within five feet of the father of three.
“When I got out of bed, (my wife) Kelly started screaming, ‘There’s a bear in the house,’” he told KUSA-TV. “So, I grabbed a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun.”
Kelly Mauldin was originally awoken from her slumber after the family’s dogs began barking. She was standing at the couple’s bedroom door with the male black bear about ten feet away from her in the dining room before her husband took her place.
Mauldin then fired once and apparently hit the imposing animal, who then charged at him. So Mauldin fired away as the bear got as close as five feet away before it turned toward the stairs leading to the front door.
“I shot it as soon as I could shoot it. I shot it and then it charged me, and I kept shooting at it,” he told KUSA-TV. “It backed up and changed directions, busting through our banister railing and landing on the stairs, and then it slid down and wound up in a pile at the bottom of the stairs.”
The bear laid breathing but wasn’t able to get back up. Mauldin quickly called 911 and then one of his three sons, who were all home at the time, called him on his cellphone from inside his bedroom to find what happened.
The bear was pronounced dead after police and wildlife officers who patrol the rocky mountain town of Steamboat Springs arrived. Officials believe the bear pushed down the lever of an unlocked front door to get inside.
“I deal with bears a lot and I’d say this was a big bear,” said Justin Pollock, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer of 21 years.
Pollock said the bear’s hide and meat will be donated to people who have signed up for it. The bear’s head will go up for auction, he said.
Mauldin said the incident hopefully sparks great awareness about the threat bears can pose in the area.
“My only thought was protecting my family and putting that bear down,” said Mauldin.
With Post wires