It turns out bears like pies. A lot.
When staff went to open up The Colorado Cherry Company Tuesday morning, they discovered a visitor had been there the night before.
The family business has been open for decades and is a fixture along U.S. 36 near Estes Park.
Lots of tourists drop by on their way to the Rocky Mountain National Park, said Mikaela Lehnert.
One visitor, though, was a much lager guest. He left a big mess outside the basement door where the pies are baked.
“He just made his way right in. hopped on top of the ovens and hopped down and had a feast.
The bear broke through a window to get inside. For whatever reason, the bear stayed on the side of the room with all of the pies.
The surveillance camera is pointed the opposite direction, so they never actually saw the bear in a video recording.
The bear didn’t realize the freezer nearby had more food. The animal clearly preferred warm pies over frozen ones.
“Cherry and apple was his favorite. He passed over the strawberry rhubarb,” said Lehnert’s mother Kristy.
The bear has apparently been around the business before. A neighbor took a picture and the Lehnerts believe it’s the same one that broke into their store overnight.
“Just devoured pies, sugar, cocoa and left a mess behind,” Lehnert said.
Experts with Colorado Parks and Wildlife don’t track the number of bear and human interactions, but they do see dozens of bears rummaging through trash and ransacking property every year.
Outside the store there is a trail of sugar. And a clump of cherries.