A black bear looking to satisfy his hunger invaded a home in Ketchum, Idaho, earlier his week but had to settle for the scraps on a pan used to cook Chinese stir-fry.
The bear broke into the home of David and Sara Edwards around 3 a.m. Monday, the Idaho Mountain Express reported Friday. David said the loud barking of his Irish setter-Lab mix awakened him in the middle of the night.
“I looked into the kitchen and saw this big furry animal,” he told the Mountain Express. That’s when he stared into the eyes of the black bear, who was on his hind legs licking a cast iron pan that the couple used to cook Chinese stir-fry the night before.
“That was the most shocked I’ve ever been,” he said. “I was surprised that he was even there with the dog barking.”
Sara was sleeping on the couch during the incident and never saw the bear. So as not to frighten his wife, David led her away from the area where the bear was licking the pan.
“I couldn’t tell her there was a bear in the house, because she would have just lost her mind,” he said. “She gets very upset over spiders.”
When David returned to the kitchen, the bear was gone, but the evidence of his visit was an open kitchen door and a clean stir-fry pan.
The Ketchum man said the front gate of his house was open and the gate is near a recycling bin he keeps near the kitchen door.
“I think he just kind of followed his nose, and our [back] door is kind of loose, so he just pushed it open,” the 43-year-old securities trader said.
David said his dog, Stanley, was a hero for potentially saving his family’s life.
“He’s the hero -- he saved the day,” he said. “If it weren’t for Stanley, who knows what would have happened.”
He said the incident wasn’t the first time a bear was attracted to his house. He once saw a bear in his garage and another time suspected bears had knocked down his garbage cans.
Arecent drought in Idaho may have contributed to the black bear seeking food from humans' habitats, wildlife biologist Robin Garwood told the Mountain Express. Garwood, who works for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, said a decrease in natural plant food sometimes causes bears to seek other sources of food. The bears usually feast on a variety of berries.