HomeOutdoorsNews‘Wet, Smelly’ Black Bear Breaks Into Elderly California Couple’s Home, Wreaks Havoc

‘Wet, Smelly’ Black Bear Breaks Into Elderly California Couple’s Home, Wreaks Havoc

by Craig Garrett
(Photo By Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

An elderly California couple got the scare of a lifetime when a smelly black bear broke through their bedroom window. Marsha and Jim Beaty said the animal tracked its bloody, muddy paw prints through multiple rooms before leaving, smearing mirrors and windows along the way. Additionally, it scratched an interior window sill with its claws which then left a putrid mess.

The Beaty’s said that the bear that recently broke into their home has become a menace in their neighborhood and it is only a matter of time until it breaks into another occupied structure. Their neighbors include young children, so they are especially worried about the potential destruction this bear could cause.

The Beatys were relieved when they received a response from George Harse, a human-wildlife conflict specialist and scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. He told them he would trap the bear soon.“This is good news that they are willing to help us out,” Marsha told The Union Democrat.

The Beatys were relaxing at home over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when they received the shock of a lifetime. Jim saw a silhouette of the bear in the dark, by the foot of the bed near Marsha’s feet. He said he couldn’t be sure of the size, but it appeared if the bear stood on its hand legs it would be 7 feet tall. Jim said he stood as tall as he could to keep the bear away.

The couple doesn’t want the black bear killed

“I was waving my hands and making myself big,” Jim Beaty recalled. The couple said they could smell the bear, and whatever the animal had gotten into before it broke into their room. The scent was very close to them. “It was stinky last night, like a wet, musty dog,” Marsha Beaty recalled. “We don’t know if the bear urinated back there or not.”

To keep the bear away from them, Marsha Beaty said that they closed two doors in a hallway. She called 911 and Jim told her to get shoes and a jacket on in case they had to make a break for it. Deputies arrived a quarter of an hour later.

Despite the terrifying ordeal, the Beaty’s don’t want the animal killed. “We want the bear trapped,” Marsha Beaty insisted. “Fish and Wildlife doesn’t have to kill it. We want the state to trap the bear and remove it from the subdivision.”

Harse told the couple that a recent report stated there were juvenile bears in the area, and it’s possible the bear that broke into their home was a mother bear. However, he doesn’t have enough information to determine definitively the size of the bear.

In recent decades, California’s black bear population has exploded, estimated to be between 10-15 thousand bears in the early 1980s. Presently, according to state Fish and Wildlife Conservation estimates, there are at least 30-40 thousand bears living in California.