Family Hears 'Huffing And Moaning,' Discovers Huge Bear Under Deck

A Colorado family trying to enjoy their deck last month found that a bear had the same idea.

The family went to sit on the back deck in Pagosa Springs but “soon heard loud huffing and moaning underneath their feet,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Southwest Region division said Tuesday on social media.

The human residents called wildlife officials, who showed up and discovered a “very large bear.”

The black bear was a male believed to be older than 10 and estimated to weigh around 400 pounds. (Black bears, like this one, can be brown in color.) Wildlife officers thought the bear was one that had been spotted in the area for several years and had a “reputation for getting into non-natural food sources.”

They decided to tranquilize and relocate the bear from the neighborhood. However, once it was sedated, moving the massive animal from under the deck for transport proved a challenge that needed “the assistance of several bystanders,” the agency wrote.

Ultimately, it was transported to an “ideal bear habitat” with “abundant natural foods,” the agency added.

A video shows a man unlocking the back of a transport vehicle and then sprinting away before the bear clambers toward freedom.

One social media user asked whether the bear was under the deck to escape the summer heat or just looking for a nap.

“Likely both,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife replied. “A bit of daytime cover to rest up for nighttime activities.”

An estimated 17,000 to 20,000 black bears live in Colorado.

“The overwhelming majority of black bears don’t want anything to do with people,” Scott Murdoch, a district wildlife manager at Colorado Parks and Wildlife, told public radio station KUNC last year.

Murdoch said Colorado sees “a handful” of attacks involving black bears each year, but that “most of them tend to be more kind of inquisitive in nature, or even defensive in nature.”

The state wildlife agency stresses keeping trash secure and avoiding attractants, like bird feeders, that might lure snack-seeking bears into residential areas.