COLORADO SPRINGS - What some might call a dumpster diver, Dieter Schnakenberg calls a dumpster driver. What else would you call it when a six-foot tall bear wheels away the 500-pound dumpster you left behind your restaurant?
"He just grabbed right onto it," said Edelweiss Restaurant's manager on Thursday. "There's just something about a bear taking a trash Dumpster away."
Twice in the last week, a large bear has walked to the back of the well-known German restaurant in search of authentic German food. Both times the scoundrel has been caught on the restaurants new security system.
"We've only had [the system] for a few weeks now," Schnakenberg said.
The family-run business had recently been the target of some graffiti and Schnakenberg bought it in order to prevent humans from doing any more damage.
"We just wanted to protect the place a little," he acknowledged.
The first visit came on Tuesday night. The second came 24 hours later:
Both times the bear wheeled a dumpster into a nearby parking lot where presumably he feasted on leftover schnitzel.
"He must like our food. He does take out," quipped co-owner Helga Schnakenberg. "It looks like he's using a shopping cart."
The restaurant's Facebook page has never been busier.
It's not like the restaurant is in the foothills either. For more than four decades, it's been located just to the south of downtown Colorado Springs.
They've seen bears around this part of town before, possibly even this same bear.
For now, however, they know it's best not to have a repeat customer in the restaurant business when that customer happens to be a bear. They plan on locking the dumpsters to the fence on Thursday night, but they also know the bear already appears quite determined.