This is no joke. On July 18, a full-grown black bear stopped in Lonigans Saloon in Estes Park. Owner Dave Callahan had just finished cleaning up the kitchen at 9 p.m., then took out the trash and headed home -- missing the bear by maybe five minutes. The bear first did a little dumpster diving, then wandered in the back door of the bar, which is kept open during operating hours in the summer. A local going home from work spotted the bear and followed him into the bar, yelling at the regulars to warn them. But the music was so loud that they couldn't hear him, Callahan says. In fact, many of them were unaware of the intruder. Fortunately, the bear -- estimated to be at least a 350-pounder -- wandered off without hurting anyone.
As strange as this incident was, there have been even odder bear sightings in Colorado.
In 2009, a bear walked in the front door of Mark Richards Fine Outerwear on Cooper Avenue in Aspen. A man working there at the time said the bear walked between racks of fur coats and damaged some display cases, then went back out the door without purchasing anyting.
In August that same year, another bear successfully squeezed itself into a new Subaru Forester outside of a residence in Vail, completely destroying the car.
In May 2012, a bear wandered onto the University of Colorado campus and climbed a tree, where it remained for a few hours while authorities figured out how to handle the situation. After a long stand-off, they hit the 280 pound black bear with a tranquilizer and it fell from the tree onto a mattress below. The bear was then moved fifty miles into the mountains -- but was later hit by two cars while trying to cross U.S. Highway 36; it died on the spot.
And now a bear walks into a bar....
Maybe the situation deserves a joke. Turns out, there's a paucity of "bear walks into a bar" jokes on the Internet. Here's one of the few we found:
A bear walks into a bar and says, "Give me a large Gin and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tonic."We're sure someone out there can beat that. Post your best "bear walks into a bar joke" in the comments section below. The best will win a gift certificate for a few drinks at Lonigans. No need to share with the bear.
The bartender replies, "Sure, but what's with the big pause?"