A black bear was shot and killed after it broke into a Montana home in the middle of the night through a screened window.
Thomas Bolkcom, 27, had to gun down the wild animal after it broke into his home in the rural community of Luther, Montana, on Thursday night.
After staying up late the night before with his fiancé Seeley Oblander, the two had been woken around 3AM with their dog Maizey barking furiously.
Bolkcom, who works as a commercial painter and elk hunter, went to investigate and discovered black bear standing in his living room.
After quickly grabbing his handgun, Bolkcom managed to shoot the bear before it made off into another room, where he killed it.
The couple had been up late the night previous preparing to travel to Arizona where Oblander had a bachelorette party planned with her friends.
They later discovered that the bear had entered their home via a screened window.
She said: ‘I never thought there would be a bear in our house, so that was quite the wakeup call at three in the morning.
‘I just stayed downstairs with the dogs, trying to help keep them out of the way and let Tom handle it. He did a great job.’
The couple and Bolkcom’s brother dragged the bear outside then called both their fathers, who came to the house to meet with a game warden so the others could catch their morning flight.
Oblander told the Billings Gazette: ‘We wanted it out of our house, the bear smelled awful, and he really made a mess.’
The warden told them the bear was around ten years old and weighed around 250-300 pounds.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Chrissy Webb said that the shooting was justified in self-defense.
According to Webb, black bears have frequented the area and in recent weeks one had been prowling the neighborhood, taking food from trash cans.
Although the house that was broken into did not have unsecured food or garbage, Webb said the bear likely became habituated to associate humans with food, creating a dangerous situation for local residents and the animal.
Webb continued: ‘This is pretty abnormal behavior to have a bear entering a home.
‘This large male black bear ended up dying because of improperly stored attractants in the community.’
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This article by Joe Hutchison was first published by The Daily Mail on 5 August 2023. Lead Image: The warden told them the bear was around ten years old and weighed around 250-300 pounds.