Deputies from the Missoula County Sherriff’s Office received a call around 5:45 a.m. on Friday that a black bear had broken into the mudroom of a Montana home. The family inside the home told officers that they discovered the bear after hearing a tremendous amount of racket downstairs and investigating where it was coming from.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they expected to see the bear digging through trash, or causing other forms of property damage, but instead they found the bear fast asleep on the top shelf of a closet.
Jamie Jonkel, wildlife management specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks told the Missoulian that the bear hadn’t committed a full-on break in because the door to the home that the animal used was “slightly ajar,” adding that the bear must have seen the opening, “tested it and stepped inside.” The bear then began to trash the place before realizing it had no way of getting out (that part’s not really made clear; did the bear close the door on himself?). Rather than continue his path of destruction, the bear decided to climb onto a comfortable-looking ledge and take a much-needed nap.
The two deputies that responded to the call tried their best to get the bear out themselves, but it was ultimately to no avail.
“When we first walked up and saw him in the closet, we just started laughing,” Sargent said.
The two tried to rouse the bear and eventually got the door open to try and draw him out.
“I was assuming the bear would just come running out of there,” Beatty said. “He just went back to bed.”
“He would look at us and yawn,” Sargent added. “Never did anything aggressive toward us.”
Camera footage from the cops seemed to confirm the bear’s lack of aggression.
Eventually, Fish, Wildlife and Parks arrived to tranquilize the bear and relocate it to another part of a nearby forest.