Summer of the Bear: From a Graduation Ceremony to a Backyard Pool

Bears have been showing up in some unexpected places this summer.

ByABC News
August 8, 2012, 12:11 PM

Aug. 8, 2012— -- intro: It's the summer of the bear. Bizarre bear sightings have been reported from around North America. From a graduation ceremony to a candy store, click through to see some of the most unusual places the furry creatures have been spotted.

quicklist 1:title: Baby Bear Breaks into 'Chocolate Factory'text: A baby black bear in Colorado was caught red-handed breaking into the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Estes Park, Colo., last week and helping himself to the shop's smorgasbord of human treats, from Rice Krispie Treats to toffee and peanut butter cups.

A faulty lock on the front door allowed the bear to enter the store easily, and he was so tidy in his candy thievery that store owner Jo Adams originally thought it was just a squirrel or tiny critter that had entered her store overnight, she told the local Estes Park News.

It was only after Adams and her son, Eric, reviewed video from the store's newly installed surveillance cameras that they learned the real chocolate-covered culprit.The video of the bear's 20- minute escapade in the store shows he stuffed candy in his mouth but left no damage to the storemedia: 16957770

quicklist: 2title: Bear Cub Walks into Searstext: Bear walks into a mall sounds like the start to a bad joke. But for shoppers at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall, that joke became a reality July 21 when a black bear cub wandered into Sears. Customers saw the bear run across the mall parking lot around 9 p.m. and up to the Sears door which opened automatically.

"It didn't look aggressive but it's a wild animal and you never know what's going to happen," Matt Marcinik told ABC affiliate WTAE.

The one-and-a-half-year-old cub got stuck in the entrance as shoppers frantically ran out of the store. Wildlife officials shot her with a tranquilizer dart and brought her out on a cart. No one was hurt and there was little damage to the store.

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quicklist: 3title: Bears Ransack Bearsville Hometext: Bearsville, N.Y., may have gotten its name for a reason. The Knowles' family's home was ransacked by bears three times in two days.

The Knowles, along with their children, came home Friday, July 13 to find that a mother bear and her cubs had trashed their kitchen. After assessing the damage, the Knowles locked their windows and doors and went out to dinner.

When they arrived home a few hours later, they discovered the bears had attacked their home again, breaking a lock on a kitchen window.

But things only got worse the next day, when the Knowles arrived home at 7 p.m. to a completely ransacked house. The bears had rummaged through one of the children's rooms, even defecating on the bed.

State wildlife officials decided the mother bear needed to be killed. They fired two shots at her but missed. She and her cubs have not returned to the Knowles' home.

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quicklist: 4title: Gardening Granny Comes Face-to-Face With Beartext: Dorothy Sirochman was gardening at her Springdale Township home July 24 when she got a visit from an unwanted guest. A black bear wandered into her yard and came face to face with the grandmother of 10.

"It was frightening, believe me it was frightening," Sirochman, 86, told ABC affiliate WTAE.

Sirochman finally shooed the bear away from her home and ran inside. Police followed the bear and were able to keep it away from the Springdale High School's outdoor band practice.

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quicklist: 5title: Black Bear Summers in Cape Codtext: A 200-pound black bear has become the most well known resident summering on Cape Cod.

The bear first appeared over Memorial Day weekend and has now been spotted more than a dozen times. It is believed to have reached the Cape by swimming approximately 500 feet across the Cape Cod Canal.

Officials say research dating back to the 1700s indicates it is the first bear ever to appear on the Cape, and in what has become a prerequisite for all animals on the run, it already has its own Twitter account with more than 1,300 followers.

"My affair with Cape Cod will not end #IAmHome," @BearSwimmer tweeted.

Unfortunately for the bear, if wildlife officials have their way his vacation might be coming to an abrupt end. Now that the bear has reached the end of the Cape, officials say they may try to immobilize it and move it to an area where there are other bears.

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quicklist: 6title: Bear Cubs for Sale ... at a Gas Stationtext: A Nevada County, Calif., man allegedly tried to sell two bear cubs at a gas station, much like a dog owner would sell a litter of puppies.

Chris Puett said he found the cubs in a tree after he shot an adult bear, which he said charged at him, on his property.

"I'm sitting out there, shaking like a leaf," Puett told ABC News affiliate KXTV in Sacramento. "I just shot a bear. I didn't want to shoot the bear."

Puett denied he was trying to sell the cubs and said he was hoping to find them a home at a wildlife refuge.

A customer at the gas station alerted the Department of Fish and Game poacher hotline.

Puett reportedly fled with the two cubs. Police caught up with him at home and confiscated the cubs, which are now being cared for at a wildlife center.

No arrests were made.

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quicklist: 7title: Bear Takes a Dip in the Pooltext: When it comes to a long holiday weekend, it turns out even bears want in on the fun.

Such was the case in a Los Angeles suburb Monday when two teenage sisters celebrating the Memorial Day holiday spotted a surprise guest in their backyard.

Taking a relaxed, leisurely dip in their family's swimming pool was none other than a black bear, the sisters, Rachel and Valerie Gaspirini, told local TV station KTLA.

"It kind of like walks over to the pool, and we thought it was going to drink some water," Rachel told the station of what the pair saw from the window of their Monrovia, Calif., home. "It ends up jumping in the ledge, and it's kind of like floating around there, chilling."Read the full story

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quicklist: 8title: Bear Goes to College

text: A bear that climbed a tree at the University of Colorado campus in Boulder has been taken back to the mountains.

Campus officials responded to a call of a bear wandering around Thursday morning near the Bear Creek Apartments, according to The Associated Press.

Officials tranquilized the 200-pound bear and it fell onto a large mat.

Read the full story

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quicklist: 9title: Black Bear Snacks on Murderertext: A black bear pulled the dead body of a convicted murderer from his car on a remote road in British Columbia and dined on his remains.

Rory Wagner, 54, was on life parole after serving prison time for killing a man who he believed had sexually assaulted a family member.

It was too soon to tell how Wagner died, authorities said.

Officials euthanized the animal because bears remember food sources, Terry Lake, British Columbia's environment minister, told The Associated Press.

quicklist: 10title: Bear Disrupts Graduationtext: A 200-pound black bear was seen roaming the grounds near Ramon Garza Elementary School in Bakersfield, Calif. A graduation ceremony was taking place at the time at the middle school next to Ramon Garza Elementary.

A teacher noticed the bear and then alerted officials, ABC News affiliate KERO reported. The school was later locked down.

Callers to 911 described the animal's movement through the school's campus parking lot and as it approached a nearby apartment complex.

Kern County Animal Control officials used a Taser to subdue the bear.

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quicklist: 11title: Not on the Wedding Guest Listtext: A 3-year-old bear cut a Colorado couple's outdoor wedding reception short at Ridgway State Park in Colorado.

"He came across the river, across the bridge and came closer to us. He even came into the parking lot," Marianna Schmalz, the mother of the bride, told ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver.

Luckily, a ranger was a guest at the wedding and called for help.

Rangers estimated that a running bear can reach speeds of up to 30 mph, Schmalz said.