The sound of a thud early Wednesday morning became a close encounter with a bear inside the home of a Fruitvale couple.
Sandy Haines described the incident to the Trail Times, which ended with her husband, Rod, shooting the bear after it refused to leave their Webster Road home.
“It’s all good now,” said Sandy recalling her early-morning scare. “It’s just one of those freak things.”
It all began at 3 a.m. Wednesday morning when Sandy heard a thud. She explained that recently a tree had fallen on their house with a similar sounding thud. So she got up to investigate when she heard more noise.
“I got up and thought if it’s something in the carport I’ll flick the lights and scare it off.
“Then I heard something coming up my stairs and I looked and it was a bear. It had popped our basement door open, I have no idea how, then walked up inside our house.”
She described the black bear as big and healthy.
“I was in the front room and saw it and screamed and woke my husband up. He came out, opened our patio doors and we were hoping it would go out the patio doors. But it didn’t and ran back down in the basement.
“So it was in our house. Thank goodness my husband has a shotgun and he had to shoot it. What else could you do?”
Sandy is still surprised that the bear broke into their house considering there is still an abundance of fruit and berries outside.
“The only thing I can think of is because we had a garbage bag in the basement. We had garbage out in our shed before and a bear popped open those doors. So that’s why we have one bag of garbage down in our basement. I assume that’s what it smelled.”
The Haines phoned the RCMP, which came out and surveyed the scene. The Conservation Officer was expected to arrive later Wednesday to remove the carcass.
The RCMP and Wildsafe representative did not respond to requests for comment from the Trail Times by press time.
“I think it’s a very odd thing to have happened,” said Sandy, adding they don’t have a dog anymore. “There’s still lots of food out there.”
She said the bear didn’t do any damage to the basement other than popping the door off.
“We’re getting deadbolts for our doors,” she said.
“I was scared but now it’s over and done with. There’s quite a bit of activity (with cougars and bears) up here. It’s good to let people know.”