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This Family Woke Up To A Black Bear Sleeping In Their Closet

Posted at 9:46 AM, Jun 26, 2019

Goldilocks was nowhere to be found, but one bear found a place to sleep that was just right: the top shelf of a closet.

Unfortunately, the owners of the home where he stopped off for a snooze were less than enthusiastic about his visit, which they woke up to on Friday morning.

The roly-poly fellow ended up being relocated by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to a more appropriate napping spot outdoors.

black bear

According to the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, police were alerted to the uninvited guest’s presence on June 21. The initial call was about “a bear stuck inside a home,” but this bear’s actual trouble was a little sillier.

Young black bear

He wasn’t just trapped in a house. He had climbed up onto the empty top shelf of a closet and seemed to be unable to get down. Check out this picture of his predicament:

Here is a video of the dazed-looking bear being woken up and trying to figure out what is going on. Frankly, he handled the interruption to his nap a lot better than I would have:

Bears apparently don’t respond too kindly to “Shoo!” — or to overtures by the police.

“When deputies knocked on the window, the bear was not the least bit impressed,” the Facebook post said. “He slowly stretched, yawned and, unamused, looked toward the door. Eventually, deputies were able to unlock the door in hopes he would hop down and leave. However, their attempts were only met with more big bear yawns.”

black bear
Wild Black Bear in the summertime, Banff and Jasper National Park Alberta Canada


Police called in Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks for backup, and they “tranquilized the bear so he could be relocated,” the post explained. The resting bear appears to have been moved via a wheelbarrow of some kind:

So, how did the bear end up in the closet in the first place? According to the Facebook post, he originally opened the door to the mudroom, which was apparently unlocked, and then accidentally dead-bolted the door shut. He tore up parts of the house while trying to find a way out, before giving up and climbing onto the shelf for a rest.

Mother black bear and her one year old cub

“This is another good reason to lock up, as we also have unconfirmed reports that he tried two other closets before he decided this one was juuuuuust right (kidding)!” wrote the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office. “But seriously, lock up!”

Black bears are the most common bears in North America, according to National Geographic. When they are not tearing apart your house, black bears are pretty darn cute:

black bear and cubs

Black bears typically live in forested areas and are known for climbing trees (or, um, closets). They eat fish, berries, and grasses, but also human food and trash if they are able to get to it.

black bear
The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is North America's smallest and most common species of bear.


Black bears can grow to be 6 feet tall and weigh anywhere from 200 to 600 pounds — which means that was a very sturdy shelf he slept on!

Black Bear

There are eight different species of bear that live around the world: the American black bear, the Asian black bear, brown bear, polar bear, giant panda, sun bear, sloth bear, and spectacled bear. They’re all pretty cute — and all animals that you don’t really want to find in your house. Especially the polar bear, which is the largest.


Fortunately, everyone in this black bear’s adventure was OK. Hopefully, the bear learned an important lesson about breaking and entering from this incident!

This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.