Three bears may once have tolerated a blonde little girl rummaging through their home, temperature-tasting porridge and falling asleep, but there is nothing charming in discovering the reverse.
A California mother is the target of death threats these days after she killed a bear for repeatedly breaking into her home. The animal was hanging out in her garage last month. It came through a bathroom window later that night. Armed with a permit to kill the animal issued by a game warden, a family friend killed the bear when it charged the house the next night.
Even with the threats on social media and backlash from some residents of her community, located about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, Julie Faith Strauja, 34, says she doesn’t regret a thing.
“It was a decision I had to make for the safety and welfare of my children and my home,” Strauja told the Los Angeles Times. “I tried to use non-lethal ways of dealing with him. But nothing was stopping him, and I just didn't think there was any other option."
Strauja said that nothing worked: Not a water hose, not pepper spray and not yelling loudly. With three children inside — ages five, six and nine — she saw no other option than to kill the bear. State officials agreed that she had done nothing wrong.
“The bear was inside the house, which satisfies every requirement under state law and policy for it to be destroyed,” Andrew Hughan, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman, said.
As the California drought has become an increasingly worrisome affair, with virtually all of the central portion of the state experiencing either “exceptional” or “extreme” drought, residents worried that the number of wildlife encounters would increase. Animals seeking food or water were expected to flock to homes and pools and some reports last year indicated that was the case. This year, however, the number of interactions between wildlife and humans hasn’t seen a dramatic increase, officials told the Times.