Aug 1, 2013 8:46 PM by Andy Koen

Black bear has craving for schnitzel

COLORADO SPRINGS - He's Yogi without the manners, and he has a serious craving for schnitzel and sauerbraten. Security cameras at Edelweiss restaurant captured video of a large black bear literally walking away with the dumpsters Tuesday night to get at the scraps inside.

"I was impressed, I'm surprised that the bear is even strong enough, honestly, to pull that thing around like that," said manager Dieter Schnakenberg.

One of the cooks spotted the overturned dumpster in the parking lot Wednesday morning prompting the review of the security footage.

The bear came back again Wednesday night and this time the video showed him delicately wheeling the dumpster around a table and chairs. Wildlife officers aren't surprised.

"Once the find that food source, they will keep coming back," said Randy Hampton, spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The family-owned restaurant has served German and American food for more than 40 years. Schnakenberg says bears have come by before, but never one this big.

"We did tell (the employees) all to be careful," Schnakenberg said. The surveillance video shows the bear actually stopping by the restaurant back door at around 9:00 p.m. before he backed away.

"I don't think he's trying to get around when people are around," he said. "He's probably still scared of people."

Hampton of Parks and Wildlife would like to keep it that way. The agency wants customers and employees to keep their distance both for their personal safety and the bear's.

"It may look cute in these kinds of situations, but it never ends well for the bear," Hampton said. "Our goal is to have it end well for the bear."

He says the best way to do that is for the bear to learn on its own that he can't get food from the restaurant anymore. With the help of Parks and Wildlife officers, Schnakenberg had his employees secure the dumpster lids with locks and chains. They also have plywood squares attached to them with nails poking through.



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