Bear ransacks school bus in campground |

Bear ransacks school bus in campground

Tonya Bina
Grand County, CO Colorado

A bear at the Green Ridge Campground on Shadow Mountain Reservoir helped himself to lunches inside a school bus late Monday night.

The bear had been reported previously in the area as having gotten into trash containers and coolers left outside by campers, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Mike Porras.

But on Monday night, the bear broke into a school bus from the Odyssey School of Denver as 7th- and 8th-graders camped, according to a report compiled by 7 News.

The group’s food was left in sealed Tupperware containers on the bus, and the bear reportedly “ruined” the school’s bus door by breaking in.

Porras said Parks and Wildlife officials are investigating the exact circumstances of the incident.

“As of today, we haven’t heard any reports this bear entered any occupied tents or occupied vehicles,” Porras said Tuesday afternoon.

The youngsters heard noise during the night, but the bear didn’t approach their tent. Nevertheless, organizers decided to put the students in the gear van for the rest of the night, 7 News reported.

“Bears are in a lot of campgrounds” this time of year, said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Manager Scott Murdoch, of Grand Lake. “It’s not anything more than normal.”

There have been prior reports of “less than proper food storage” at the Green Ridge Campground this summer, which may have led to habituation of the animal, Porras said.

People who don’t follow proper storage of food can put future campers and bears at risk, he said.

A recent report of the bear getting into a cooler left outside is one example.

“They reward the bear with an easy meal,” Porras said.

A bear near Aspen was hunted down and killed earlier this week by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials after it bit and dragged a camper out of his tent in the backcountry and may have been responsible for an earlier incident in the same area, according to the Associated Press.

A campground outside Grand Junction was also closed this week because of human-bear conflicts.

Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603

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