An unexpected visitor showed up at a Monrovia, Calif., home Wednesday, sampled some Chinese food, made a mess and stole a box of dog food for his friend waiting outside. The visitor was a baby brown bear, and his friend, another baby brown bear.
"We are used to seeing bears outside of our home. They will come to our garden and backyard a lot, it is common in our city, and I've gotten used to seeing them these past two years. But when I saw them walk into our house, it was really scary and amusing at the same time," 25-year-old Justin Lee told ABCNews.com.
Lee immediately grabbed his dog, ran upstairs and locked himself in his room. He then phoned local police, who remained on the line until police arrived.
Once on the scene, officers found the bear had exited the house to be with his companion bear, who had not entered the home. The officers were face to face with the bears, who were "staring at the officers, but were not aggressive," Monrovia Police Department Lt. Nels Ortlund said.
Ortlund said the officers utilized a nonlethal bean bag round fired into the air to effectively frighten the bears back up the mountain.
"Bears are a regular occurrence in the foothills of Monrovia," Ortlund said. "It is a good reminder for people to place trash and pet food in secured containers, and as warmer weather approaches, to be watchful as they are outside more and as they leave doors and windows open."
After officers had secured the scene, Lee went back downstairs to see that the bears had entered through the dog door panel, which was ripped off, and then proceeded to slide the sliding glass door the panel was attached to open.
"We were really lucky. There was a mess but nothing was broken, not even a plate," he said. "We were told there were instances where a bear has actually ripped open a refrigerator door."
Although seeing bears around his hometown is somewhat commonplace, Lee said he will remain cautious when sitting in his living room. He also said he doesn't believe the bears were trying to hurt him. Rather, they were hungry and wanted food.
"We used to keep our windows open, but now we decided to keep our windows shut. My mom was a little worried because she heard a sound and kept saying, 'I think they're back, I think they're back,'" Lee said. "Yesterday night I was looking at the window and knowing it was safe, but just having a small window and door is still concerning. I think we will get used to it, and our fear will eventually wear off."