'There's a bear in the house': Grizzly intruder shot dead in B.C.
Published Monday, August 10, 2015 9:48AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 10, 2015 9:51AM EDT
Before the sun rose over Kimberley, B.C., on Sunday morning, Sid the dog awoke his owners with frantic barking aimed at a 15-year-old grizzly bear in the kitchen, chowing down on a sealed bucket of pet food.
When owner Niki Traverse crawled out of bed to investigate, she came face-to-face with the intruder.
"I was right here and the bear was right here," Niki Traverse told CTV News Vancouver of her 4:30 a.m. encounter, marking the distance that separated her from the bear by just a few steps.
"It was 10 feet from our son’s bedroom door," she said.
"I ran back into our bedroom to grab my husband and say,‘There’s a bear in the house, there’s a bear in the house!’"
Mark Traverse, who is a hunter, quickly grabbed his gun, loaded it, and approached the feasting grizzly.
"It took a step to me and I shot it. It took another step and I shot it again," Mark said.
The bear soon died on the kitchen floor.
The couple now credits their pet for alerting them in time.
"This is the dog that saved us," Mark said as he scratched the little dog’s chest.
Roving black bears are not uncommon in Kimberley, and a few have even been known to break into homes. But according to a conservation officer, grizzlies are less likely to do so.
The bear that found its way into the home showed clear signs of poor health, according to conservation officer Jared Connatty.
"Its body fat was way lower than what it should have been at this time of year. [It] had some hair missing all over the body which can be related to just poor health, which is why it’s resorting to these measures to gain its food resource," Connatty said.
The bear is believed to have entered through an open window; a crumpled screen was found lying on the grass outside. The couple did nothing to attract the bear, the conservation officer insists, but reminds others to be cautious about sealing “attractants” such as odorous garbage.
"This bear didn’t learn to do this this morning. This was a previously learned behaviour that lead to this point," Connatty said.
The Traverse family is now warning their neighbours to be cautious about sleeping with their windows open, even in the heat of summer.
"If you’re going to bed, close your windows. No matter how hot it is," Niki said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Sheila Scott