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Black bear breaks into Manitoba cabin, helps self to food

A bear (bottom left) broke into a Falcon Lake cottage in the early morning of June 17, 2024. (Source: Cheryl Juras) A bear (bottom left) broke into a Falcon Lake cottage in the early morning of June 17, 2024. (Source: Cheryl Juras)
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Over the past 14 years, Cheryl Juras and her family have seen their fair share of bears near their Falcon Lake cottage, but she never expected to see one in her very own kitchen.

“I just didn’t think they would come inside the house… you know, I’m just shocked,” Juras told CTV News.

Juras and her husband woke up around 6:30 a.m. Monday at their lakefront home to the sound of someone – or something – in the kitchen. At first, she thought it was one of her sons and his friend, who had been sleeping in the guesthouse, getting ready for work.

“And then we heard a bang or crash – like someone fell or something,” Juras said. She asked her husband to go check things out, just in case.

“And I even said, ‘Maybe it’s a bear,’ just as a joke.”

Her husband crept up the stairs to find a black bear eating dog food out of a ceramic crockpot on the kitchen floor. The family later learned the bear had entered through a screen window. They also discovered the unwanted visitor opened their refrigerator and helped itself to some sandwiches.

“He also opened up a cupboard where the food was, and left us a great big, you know what, on the floor.”

Juras said her husband quietly returned to the bedroom and the couple, along with their other son, escaped the house through a window. Shortly after, RCMP and a conservation officer arrived at the house, but the bear bolted through another window before it could be caught.

She said her family takes safety measures when it comes to wildlife being around the property. She said they never leave food out, keep the yard clean, and store trash properly. She added they usually close all their windows at night, but admits she forgot to before bed on Sunday.

“A lot of people do leave them open for fresh air,” Juras said. “But apparently [bears] can sniff or smell – from I don't even know how far away… but it sniffed [the covered dog food] through a screened window, you know, into a home. It’s actually unbelievable really.”

Juras said the incident is a good reminder to be mindful that humans and wildlife don’t live far apart, and said it’s important to take necessary precautions to keep everybody safe.

“I don’t want any animals to be harmed, but on the flip side, I don’t want any people to be harmed either.”

She said she’s grateful no one was hurt during the ordeal, and said it won’t change her opinion on cottage life.

“It’s beautiful here, and bears are part of the beauty.”

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