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(l-r) Dorian Hammond, Kerris LeBeau and Alvaro Guardado with their lab puppy mix.
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Damage in the living room caused by the bear.
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The 1.5' x 1.5' window through which the bear squeezed to enter the house.
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The mess left below the window where the bear entered.
By Patric Hedlund
“Be careful what you ask for,” Kerris LeBeau said in a voice that was both laughing and trembling Monday morning, Aug. 22. She said she had felt a twinge of envy Saturday when her husband Alvaro Guardado came home to report he’d seen the bear on Frazier Mountain Park Road [see story on page 1]
“I moved here to see wildlife,” LeBeau said. “I’ve seen a wildcat, raccoons, deer and coyotes— we know we live in their house—but I told my husband, ‘I really want to see a bear.’”
Within 36 hours, LeBeau’s wish was granted.
At about 11 p.m. on Sunday night, LeBeau heard her cats thundering down the hall. She got up to see why. When she came into the kitchen she saw a dark, furry nose coming through a small window from the deck.
“At first I thought it was a raccoon. Then I realized… ‘O my gosh! It’s a bear!’”
As she screamed, a huge black bear squeezed through a 1.5 foot by 1.5 foot window screen and was suddenly inside her house. The crashing of planters and a fish bowl shattering onto the floor accompanied her screaming as she ran back down the hall.
“I got my son into our room and locked the door. My husband ran to grab our lab mix puppy. The bear was standing up on its back legs. My husband, who is six feet, said the bear was taller than him. He reached down, five feet from the bear, to scoop up the dog. She was so scared she peed all over the couch.”
LeBeau said her husband ran with the dog into their bedroom. Her son Dorian Hammond had grabbed an ax to protect them.
“Guardado jumped out the bedroom window about 12 feet to the ground, into a pile of scrap wood—he was in boxer shorts and shoes. He found our ladder under the deck and placed it up to the window for Dorian and I to climb out. But my son and I were fighting about who would climb out first. I told him to go, he told me to. We never got out the window,” LeBeau laughed.
“My husband ran around to the front door of the house and threw it open. I heard him yell to the bear, ‘Hey Dumb A__, come out here!’” LeBreau said.
The bear sauntered out purposefully, “as if he had intended to use the front door the whole time,” the family laughed. They found the cats hiding in the shower. Only the goldfish is still missing in action.
As if that wasn’t enough, on Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. “our dog woke us and we found a mother bear and two cubs playing on our patio!”
LeBeau says maybe she’s seen enough bears for awhile.
This is part of the August 26, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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