A Black Bear Named "Cheeseburger" Stole a Dumpster From a Colorado Pot Shop
"He’s all into the Rocky Mountain high and I don’t blame him," said the dispensary's manager. "He knows the good stuff when he sees it, or smells it.”
Published on July 24, 2019

On Thursday morning last week, the staff of a Colorado pot shop were surprised to find that someone had busted through their fence and dragged their trash dumpster into an adjacent parking lot. An examination of the security camera footage revealed that the culprit was a black bear attempting to make a valiant, but ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to see what was in that dumpster.

Shortly after 11pm on the night of July 17th, the hungry black bear tore open a gate in a wooden fence surrounding The Bud Depot, a licensed cannabis store in Lyons. Surveillance video shows the bear investigating the area and then setting its sights on a locked dumpster. After a brief attempt to open the lid, the bear very carefully wheeled the trash bin through the gate and out into a nearby parking lot.

Out in the parking lot, the bear made a concentrated effort to bust the trash bin open from every angle. The dumpster was specifically designed to resist intrusion by nosy bears, however. So, the prospective thief eventually abandoned it and left the scene. "No reward for this bear," Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) wrote in a tweet accompanying their public release of the store's security footage.

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The Bud Depot's manager, Nikko Garza, told KDVR (FOX31 Denver) that the bear “busted through like The Shining, which is ironic because the Stanley Hotel is like 20 minutes up the road. He’s all into the Rocky Mountain high and I don’t blame him. He knows the good stuff when he sees it, or smells it.”

Even if the bear had succeeded in opening the dumpster, it would have been disappointed. Garza told FOX that the dumpster only contained empty boxes, and “none of the fun stuff like you would imagine.” The manager added that the bear is well-known to the employees — all of whom saw it so often in the past few weeks that they nicknamed it “Cheeseburger.”

Breaking into dumpsters and trash cans is common practice for black bears. "Much of what people throw away smells like food to a hungry bear,” the CPW explained. “Once bears learn where it's easy to get at the garbage, they'll come back again and again.” The agency also noted that “empty cans and boxes still smell like food” to a bear, which likely explains why Cheeseburger was working so hard to get his paws on empty boxes.

Garza jokingly suggested that the bear wasn't even attempting to get food, but was instead showing how useful an employee it could be. “Everybody wants to work at a cannabis shop,” he quipped to FOX. “He’s just showing initiative.”

Chris Moore
Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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