Bear on a hot diner roof

Bruin leaps from Steamboat restaurant, flees through downtown

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You've heard the expression "raining cats and dogs," but bears?

At approximately 10:30 p.m. Sunday, a bear jumped from the roof of Johnny B. Good's Diner startling window shoppers standing or walking on Lincoln Avenue.

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The bear made a mad dash down Ninth Street to Yampa Avenue before officers received a second call of a bear loitering in the vicinity of Double Z Bar and Bar BQ.

The bear, which had an apparent interest in popular local restaurants, eventually climbed a tree in Little Toots Park, said Kevin Craig, an officer with the Steamboat Springs Police Department.

Craig responded to the original bear call, which came into dispatch at 10:02 p.m. Sunday.

"Someone was driving through the alley behind Johnny B. Good's, and saw the bear," Craig said. "When they pulled up, the bear ran up the staircase and jumped onto the roof. When I arrived, it was on the roof."

Craig didn't have a chance to call the Colorado Division of Wildlife to trap the bear on the building's roof before he realized the animal had devised its own escape route.

"I could hear people screaming and yelling on Lincoln Avenue, and I realized it must have jumped off the building," Craig said. "I got in my car and drove around, and (a few people) said it went down Ninth toward Yampa."

Craig, who stands 5 feet 9 inches, estimated the black bear came up past his waist when it stood on all four legs. Craig said he drove the area between Ninth Street and Yampa but could not locate the bear.

"We got another phone call that it was behind Double Z," Craig said.

No one working at Johnny B. Good's Diner on Sunday reportedly saw or heard the bear.

Although the bear did not harm anyone and was not seen digging through dumpsters or in garbage cans, Steamboat Springs Police Capt. Joel Rae said the incident serves as a reminder that bears are out and about in Steamboat, and area homeowners and businesses are asked to be careful with their pet food, grills and trash.

On Monday, the city of Steamboat Springs issued a reminder to residents that people must adapt their behavior because the bears cannot adapt theirs.

People are reminded to store garbage in a bear-proof container, feed pets indoors and keep pet food inside. Residents are asked to clean and store grills inside, hang bird feeders between trees instead of on decks and compost lawn clippings and leaves instead of food waste.

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