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PARK CITY — A homeowner received a startling surprise inside his home Wednesday when a bear came in through an open door and rummaged through his house.
“I look up and right there on that landing there’s a bear sitting,” said Bob Anderson, referring to the landing next to his kitchen.
Anderson, whose home sits on the edge of the hill just east of the city, said he started to “shoo” the bear, and it at least initially seemed to listen when he first exited the house.
The homeowner said after he called the police, the bear came back inside and it was Anderson’s turn to leave.
“He did the right thing and got out of the home,” said Park City Police Sgt. Jay Randall. “(Officers) were able to kind of trap it in there while we called (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources).”
As Anderson stood outside with officers, he heard disconcerting noises coming from inside his home.
“We have the bear under siege, but I’m hearing things break and I’m thinking, ‘Oh no!’” he said. “He pulled that cabinet out and broke it off.”
Randall said the black bear ultimately managed to escape by jumping from Anderson’s deck down to a tree.
“We actually tracked it down into the foliage and then you can see clear off in the distance,” Randall said, pointing to the hillside. “We tracked it beyond that point.”
Randall said the search lasted about three hours before wildlife officers decided to leave bear traps and see if the bear might return.
Anderson said he had photographed the bear in the area in the days leading up to the home invasion.
“My wife’s still in Nashville,” Anderson remarked. “She’s not going to be here ‘til the end of the month and she’s going to think, ‘Why did you leave the door open?!”
Anderson said a cable repair man had been working on his house and some doors were open.
“I’ve seen every other kind of wild animal — even a mountain lion,” Anderson said. “I’ve never seen a bear here, but there it was.”