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01 July 2017

Black bear crashes into young boy’s bedroom in Anchorage, Alaska

An Alaskan boy got the shock of his life when a black bear crashed into his bedroom. Picture: istock

A HUGE crash jolted 11-year-old Zach Landis awake in his Anchorage home, but it soon became clear it wasn’t a human intruder or his sisters playing a trick on him.

A black bear had broken through the garden-level window of his tiny bedroom and was wimpering like a scared dog in the room.

Zach screamed, and the man-sized animal bolted out the window and disappeared, the boy recalled on Friday about the Monday night encounter at his home on a large, thickly wooded lot.

The boy scrambled over the shattered glass and ran upstairs to tell his parents. “Mom, Dad, there’s a bear in my room,” he blurted.

His mother, Alisa Landis, told him he just had a bad dream and that he could sleep with her and his father. No, no, no, it was a bear, Zach insisted, adding the animal had climbed out the window. At that point, his mother said, it must be an intruder. His father, Jon Landis, went downstairs to check and found the shattered window. No one was hurt, just shaken up. The bear left claw marks in the room, as well as black hair and a few smudges of blood. Plus, the animal smelled like a wet, dirty dog and left behind a powerful stench.

“The odour lingered for hours,” Alisa Landis said.

A Black Bear at Tenaya Lake in America’s Yosemite National Park. Picture: iStock

A Black Bear at Tenaya Lake in America’s Yosemite National Park. Picture: iStockSource:istock

It was the latest encounter between bears and humans this northern summer in the USA’s largest state, including four maulings in the past two weeks. Two people were killed by black bears in what are believed to be rare predatory attacks, but predatory behaviour is not believed to have been what drove the bear in Monday’s residential visit.

That bear appeared to find itself in the house by accident and it quickly fled, state Fish and Game officials said.

The Bird Ridge Trail in Anchorage, Alaska, was closed last month after a black bear killed a 16-year-old runner while he was competing in a race. Picture: AP Photo/Mark Thiessen

The Bird Ridge Trail in Anchorage, Alaska, was closed last month after a black bear killed a 16-year-old runner while he was competing in a race. Picture: AP Photo/Mark ThiessenSource:AP

The Landis family just returned to Alaska last autumn after leaving the state about a decade ago. In the last couple of weeks, they’ve had their share of bear experiences.

Before the bedroom escapade, they saw another, smaller black bear crossing a busy street in south Anchorage during a family bike ride. And on Wednesday, they discovered a bear had broken into a rubbish bin, pulling out a garbage bag. Their neighbours also saw a large black bear in the days before the window caper.

“We don’t live in a state of fear or being paranoid or anything,” Alisa Landis said. “But we’re also much more cautious and more alert to checking your surroundings.”

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