HomeOutdoorsNewsCalifornia Woman Speaks Out After Bear Surprised Her in Backyard

California Woman Speaks Out After Bear Surprised Her in Backyard

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Bernd Wüstneck/picture alliance via Getty Images)

A woman living in a dense Yuba City, California neighborhood had a shock last week when she found a bear taking refuge in her backyard.

Nancy Jimenez told her local news station, CBS 13, that she was in standing behind her home on Tuesday night (Dec. 6), when she heard something large scamper up a tree. She ran for a flashlight, and she and her daughter went back to investigate. When they cast the light into the branches, they saw a huge bear staring back at them.

Her daughter, Lexie, ran back inside. But Nancy remained standing, bewildered.

“I got my shoes on. And we came out here and she shined her light up, and I was like what is that?” Lexie said. “And then it started hissing at us, so I ran back inside like ‘No, thank you.’ “

Nancy told the outlet that she’s lived in the area for over 20 years, and she’s never seen a bear so close to homes. So her shock overwhelmed her fear.

“Actually, I was surprised I wasn’t scared,” she admitted. “I was more like in awe that there’s an actual bear in my little Yuba City town.”

Habitat Destruction Has Forced Area Bears to Migrate

The Jimenez family doesn’t know how long the animal had been hiding in their yard. But they said they did hear the dog barking throughout most of the day. After finding the sharp-toothed intruder, they also noticed that a large portion of their fence was broken. So they assume that’s how it got in.

“I would think possum, raccoon but a bear? My son thought I was crazy. I’m like ‘No, really, it’s a bear. You need to come over now,’ ” Nancy continued.

The executive director of the BEAR League, Ann Bryant, told CBS 13 that they’ve been getting an unusual amount of calls from people living in residential neighborhoods this year. And she mentioned that there is a perfectly good explanation for the uptick.

“You know what’s happening is, with all the recent fires over the last few years and so much bear habitats having burned, the bears have been moved around due to that,” she explained.

The league warns that the animals could be taking refuge anywhere right now. So residents should always be on alert and ready to react. People should also keep their trash cans in their garages so they don’t inadvertently draw bears to their homes, and they should keep their pets inside.

Some residents are wondering why bears aren’t in hibernation yet. According to Bryant, they typically don’t head in for the winter until after the holiday season.