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Bear Moves Into a Magalia Home, Frightens Homeowner

By Jerry Olenyn, jolenyn@krcrtv.com
Published On: Dec 14 2012 12:55:45 PM CST
Bear in the House
MAGALIA, Calif. -

A Butte County woman was shocked to find a bear living under her home.  When Tina Sunderland left her Magalia home for a few months, the bear moved right in and made himself right at home.

The bear didn't like it when Sunderland returned this week.
 
The 6-foot 450-pound black bear has been living under Sunderland's house for several months.  She'd been caring for relatives in the Bay Area when she got a call from her landscaper that a tree had crashed into the front of her house. 

She said she rarely stays in the home.   On Monday night, she and her friend heard banging and heavy breathing in the hallway next to the kitchen.
 
"I pounded back on the floor and it pounded back and made a whining noises," said Sunderland.   "Then we thought maybe there was a transient living under the house."
 
They called 9-1-1.  The sheriff's department told them there was a bear living underneath the house.  The animal had apparently moved in a year ago under the wood patio.
 
"We saw the bear underneath the house through one of the vents. You can see his eyes as they shined their big flashlights on there," said Sunderland.
 
Fish and Game used ammonia to force the bear outside.
 
But the bear liked the neighborhood and his new home.  He returned, trying to enter through the now wood-covered opening under the patio, pawing and chewing at the wood blocking his entry.
 
"He's taken all the ducting underneath the house, piping from the bathroom, insulation is torn down," said Sunderland.
 
Sunderland said Fish and Game told her to call them if she spots the bear again.  Sunderland said she's too frightened to stay at the house at night when bears are most active.  Until the bear is captured, she will spend nights in a nearby hotel.