Bear ransacks kitchen, steals chocolate
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 Posted: 5:50 PM EDT (2150 GMT)


DENVER, Colorado (Reuters) -- It's a tale of man against nature. A paralyzed man in Aspen, Colorado lay helplessly in bed for two hours while a black bear known as "Fat Albert" went through his kitchen breaking dishes and looking for a tasty snack.

"I had four pounds (2kg) of chocolate from a ski trip. He ate it all -- it's war," Tom Isaac said, recounting with a sense of humor how the 500-pound (230-kg) bear made himself at home at his house on September 20.

"I could hear things breaking for two hours," he said of the bear's "visit" to his home. Isaac's bedroom was only about 10 to 15 feet (3-5 metres) from the kitchen and he feared the bear would come in and attack him.

This time of year bears are busy fattening up before going into hibernation and residents in mountain towns often recount stories of rummaging bears.

In Fact, Isaac, who has been paralyzed since a skiing accident in the early 1980s, says his home has been invaded nearly a half dozen times by the bear Aspenites call "Fat Albert."

"The next afternoon the wildlife agents found him sleeping in my dining room," Isaac said.

Isaac, who holds elective office as the Pitkin County assessor, said he does not want to see the bear shot, but he is worried about how the needs of residents can be balanced against the needs of wildlife.

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