A bear falls asleep an a pizza shop in Colorado Springs near the back of the store on a rack of boxes. Police Department spokeswoman Catherine Buckley says a school resource officer at Palmer High School was told there was an animal near the school on Monday and went to check it out, according to Daily Mail.
The pizza shop, known as Louie’s, is famous for producing dough smells in town. The bear went into the store and then decided to take a nap, where police found the animal.
“It found its way into the pizzeria office where it played with some supplies and then curled up on the second shelf of a storage rack,” an employee said. By the time officers with Colorado Parks & Wildlife showed up, the animal was sound asleep.
The bear falling asleep in the pizza shop was one of several incidents to make headlines in 2015 that kept Colorado Parks & Wildlife officials springing into action. Matt Robbins, a spokesman with Parks & Wildlife, wasn’t able to provide statistics Monday for this year’s sighting in the Pikes Peak region.
When asked if occurrences are on the rise, Robbins said people seem to be reporting sightings more frequently. Robbins stated that these animals will definitely become less visible once the first snow comes as they begin to hibernate.
Pizza shop employees flagged down the officer after refusing to go back in because of the animal. The bear was found asleep by the officer, who then tranquilized it before she could get any food.
“We just have to wait until it cools off a little more,” Robbins said. “We’re all waiting. And I’m the first one on that list.” Customers had to wait in line until the animal could be removed.
Blanca Caro, the Colorado Springs police school resource officer at Palmer High School, said the bear’s presence in downtown Monday nearly caused the school to go on lockdown. But further investigation revealed that the animal was not a threat to students and had made its way to Louie’s Pizza on North Tejon Street.
Caro said an unidentified person had notified the school when the bear was seen in the area of East Boulder Street and North Nevada Avenue. The resource officer asked staff to hold off on the lockdown order until she investigated. Caro didn’t find the animal so she continued searching the streets.
“I started heading west on Boulder and that’s when I got flagged down by an employee at Louie’s Pizza,” she said.
An employee of the pizza restaurant told Caro that the animal had been on the opposite side of Boulder and must have smelled the pizza. The animal entered through an open door, walked past the restrooms and found its way into the pizzeria’s prep room.
There he ate some icing used in Louie’s cini-bread and curled up on the second shelf of a storage rack. One of the employees, Sawyer Janney, said he was startled when all the commotion began, not by the bear but by a co-worker.
“He just yells ‘bear’ and runs outside,” Janney said. Louie’s founder Louie Sciarotta said a horde of Palmer High students had just left the shop moments before the bear arrived before the bear was found asleep in the pizza shop.
By the time officers with Parks & Wildlife showed up, the bear cub snoring on the shelf.
“He (the Parks & Wildlife officer) went back to that corner, woke her up and then tranquilized her,” Caro said.
Robbins said the cub appeared to be malnourished and had an open wound on one of its paws. He said the wound was treated, and the bear was taken to a rehabilitation facility to recover.
“If we get that weight up and the wound heals, it will go back into the wild,” Robbins said.
A woman who lives in the area near Palmer High School published a Facebook post about the sighting. She said she noticed a little cub running down an alley before the bear was found asleep in the pizza shop.