A baby black bear in Colorado is proving that the wild creatures long feared by humans are actually really sweet, or at least have a really sweet tooth.
The bear was caught red-handed or, in this case, pawed, breaking into the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Estes Park, Colo., last week and helping himself to the shop's smorgasbord of human treats, from Rice Krispie Treats to toffee and peanut butter cups.
A faulty lock on the front door allowed the bear to enter the store easily, and he was so tidy in his candy thievery that store owner Jo Adams originally thought it was just a squirrel or tiny critter that had entered her store overnight, she told the local Estes Park News.
It was only after Adams and her son, Eric, reviewed video from the store's newly installed surveillance cameras that they learned the real chocolate-covered culprit.
"That's a bear!" she told the paper of her shocked reaction.
The video of the bear's 20- minute escapade in the store shows he had no agenda other than to satisfy his late-night sweet tooth with a quick and clean routine.
He'd grab mouthfuls of candy - favorites included chocolate covered Rice Krispie Treats, peanut butter cups and a store specialty called Balls of Joy - from the counter and then take the treats outside to eat, making a total of at least seven trips in 20 minutes, according to the News.
Adams told the newspaper that the bear had very politely stepped over items on the counter and left no damage to her store.
"He was just doing what bears do … eat! He was hungry," she said.
The bear has made the store, which reopened after a thorough scrubbing, a popular stop in Estes Park, with higher-than-ever demand for the exact treats the bear enjoyed.
The bear reportedly wanted more of his favorite treats too. The next evening Adams says she found muddy paw prints in front of the store's now-repaired front door.