A bear spent 10 minutes roaming around the lobby of the Angel Fire resort in New Mexico in what's become the latest of bizarre bear encounters in recent months.
According to KOAT.com, a local ABC affiliate, the bear poked his head into a conference room, wandered through a few hallways and spent some time exploring the lobby before finally leaving the same way he came in: through the front door.
Just last week, reports surfaced of a bear wandering into a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store in Colorado, also by way of the front door. The bear took some candy and departed, only to return seven more times in a matter of 15 minutes.
And in Fairbanks, Calif., a hiking trail has been temporarily closed following three bear encounters in a matter of a week and a half. In one incident, a cinnamon-colored black bear tore through a family's tent.
According to the Associated Press, several bear encounters have been documented across the country this summer. One bear tore through the wall of a candy store in a village in the Adirondack Mountains; another bear locked itself in a mini van and a family of bears broke into a dozen cars in Aspen, Colo.
These incidents are said to be the result of bears looking for food as they gear up for hibernation. Experts say high temperatures and droughts are making usual food sources scarce and that bears are acting boldly as a result, the AP reports. A representative from the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation noted that six bears have been euthanized in the Catskills region of New York this year.
Though adult bears may not risk starvation this winter as the result of droughts, the weather conditions could easily affect their abilities to reproduce, as well as the health of their cubs, Dave Garsheilis of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources pointed out to Discovery News.
And adult bears face other difficulties by their having to seek out food in alternate locations: After the candy store incident in Colorado, Jennifer Churchill, a spokesperson for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife explained that bears are more at risk of being put down as they get more resourceful. She notes that a bear was euthanized after breaking into occupied homes last month, but adds that she does not agree with the practice.
"We're in their turf, and you just put up with these things when they happen," she said.
The Center for Wildlife Information notes that bears typically interact with humans when they feel threatened. Visit the website for tips on how to respond.
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