Can bear-ly believe it: local mom scares off bruin
Ed. Note: This year has seen far greater-than-usual bear-human conflict. The following is an account written by a local mom and police officer who found herself in an almost un-bear-able situation.
“During the second week of August 2010, I took on a house sitting/cat sitting job in the glorious area of Bonnington. Beautiful home with lots of windows, pool, private wooded-like setting…I mean, I would be crazy not to take advantage of this opportunity right?
“The day was beautiful…sunny and hot. We thoroughly enjoyed the pool.
“Later that night …
“I am not a big fan of air conditioning. The homeowner advised me that, if I was to keep all of the windows open at night, I would experience an incredible cool breeze for sleeping. I tucked in my children for the night and went to bed myself thinking how great my day was and how lucky I was to be in ‘God’s country’.
“2:15 AM – I was awoken to a sound of thumps…I figured, ‘those darn cats are up to something,’ and fell back asleep.
“2:30 AM – I was once again awoken to the sound of something falling onto the wood floor in the kitchen. I once again thought, ‘Those darn cats, they better not have dumped over something on the counter tops!’
“Not familiar with this home, I was unable to find any light switches to assist me in making my way towards the kitchen. Half asleep, with my head down, I stopped before the kitchen to find both cats with their fur standing straight up. I have to say, I did curse at them for waking me up. I then proceeded towards the kitchen to see what had fallen to the ground when I heard a “CRUNCH” sound.
“I was stepping on the screen from the kitchen window. My head being down, I immediately thought, ‘OMG!!!Is there someone in the house? A prowler? ‘
“My heart was pounding….I immediately felt as though someone was watching me…….I looked up, and to my surprise, there was the full head and neck portion of a rather large black bear coming through the kitchen window!
“My immediate reaction was, “do not panic!’. Being only three feet away from this bear, I remembered hearing advice that you do not want to startle a bear … and fearing that the bear would come into the home, make a mess and wake up my children, I decided it would be best to talk to the bear.
“I stated sternly, “What are you doing in here?”
“I resorted to a move I learned from being a member of the RCMP Tactical Troop, and started to move towards the bear with slow steps, chanting “Go on … go on … get out of here …”
“During this fancy foot movement, I was using my right hand to “shoo” the bear away. But each time my hand attempted to “shoo” the bear away, I was striking it in the head!
“After several such “shoo” attempts, I learned the bear had actually become stuck in the window and was unable to get its head out of the window. I don’t actually remember how many times I struck the bear, but it finally maneuvered its way out the window and fled the scene.
“I stood there in the dark, in complete shock of what had just transpired. To this moment it still feels surreal …
“Damages: Bent window brackets, damaged wooden frame. Greasy film all over the window, bear paw marks on the exterior of the wooden window ledge, snagged window screen. My hand had a terrible foul smelling greasy film on it from smacking the bear … took a few washings.
“The ‘what ifs’ have continued to traumatize me … however, I have found peace with everything … I have heard that bears are a good omen, so I’m waiting for the good luck to pour my way!
“MORAL: Close all windows at night if living in a wooded area … do NOT place a beautiful arrangement of fruit near an open window, as this is obviously what enticed the bear in the first place. And, finally, sleep with your eyes open – a human “Mama Bear” will do anything to protect her babies!”