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July 19. 2012 11:11PM

Whitefield man boots bear from his kitchen

WHITEFIELD — Lou Niles said he woke about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday to find a black bear with its head in his kitchen trash can.

“I immediately expressed to the bear my dissatisfaction with finding him in my house — I won’t go into the language that was used — and then I placed a work boot where I thought it would do him the most good,” Niles said.

Niles said the surprised bear quickly left by the window, carrying the garbage bag. The bag caught on the kitchen faucet and broke open, and the bear’s escape broke the window’s opening crank as well.

“I had a really nice muddy floor with trash all over the place and a broken window, and a heart rate that you might expect to go along with a scene like that,” Niles said.

He estimated the bear weighed about 150 pounds and was big enough to climb in a window about 6 feet above the ground that Niles had left open because of the heat.

Niles lives five miles out of town near the end of a dead-end road on a mountaintop. He said the area is a “haven for bears” and he often hears them “hooting back and forth from ridge top to ridge top at each other.”

He also hears coyotes howling at night and once had a 2-year-old moose stick its head in his kitchen window during remodeling.

But in his 30 years of living in the house, he’s never had a bear invite itself to breakfast.

“I’m kind of averse to having things that weigh that much and eat meat standing in my house,” he said.

After booting the bear, Niles called his sister, who lives next door, only to find the bear had gotten into her trash cans that same night.

He reported the incident to the state Fish and Game Department, and a live trap was set Wednesday with plans to capture and relocate the bear.

“In a way, it was kind of surreal, but in another way you have to sort of expect it,” he said.

“They have to make their living, too, somehow — you can’t fault them for it.”

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Kristi Garofalo may be reached at kgarofalo@newstote.com.


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