Bear successfully breaks into and out of Colorado county jail

DURANGO, CO (KOB) Colorado’s La Plata County jail experienced a first this week: a successful break-in.

The offender is still on the run, described to have brown fur, four paws and weighing more than 250 pounds.

Deputies don’t find it bear-y funny.

“What we are set up is to keep people from breaking out, not breaking in and this is the first one that I am aware of,” said Sgt. Dan Bender of the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.

Before dawn on Tuesday, a north gate at the La Plata County Detention Center was the scene of a jail break-in. Up and over is how La Plata County Sheriff’s deputies say the bear gained access.

“Climbed over the fence and crossed some barbed wire, and dropped into the compound behind me,” Bender said.
Bits of evidence still cling to the barbed wire at the top with tufts of fur among bent barbed wire.

But in this case, as soon as he was in, jailers wanted him right back out.

“Jailers tried to electronically unlock the gate in hopes it would push it open, but the bear couldn’t figure that out,” Bender said. “It was a really big bear.”

When deputies tried to shoo the bear away, it climbed a tree and hid out there for a while. LPCSO said the bear scampered off into the nearby hills. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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