‘I chased him out’: 95-year-old Vancouver Island woman finds black bear in her pantry
“It wasn’t even that exciting. I don’t know why it is getting that much excitement,” Stady said.
Last week, the 95-year-old woman was sitting in her house in Union Bay, just south of Courtenay, watching television, when she heard a sound in the kitchen. She got up and went into the other room, only to find herself face-to-face with a bear.
“I heard a noise in the kitchen and I went to see what was going on and it was a bear,” she said.
The bear left the house and headed off into the woods. Not too long afterward, Stady heard more rattling in the kitchen and got up again.
“It was the same bear. Only he knocked over the sugar bin, and oh, what a mess,” Stady said.
“So I chased him out again and cleaned up the mess and that is all there was to it.
“I never thought of being scared. It never occurred to me.”
Stady has had run-ins with bears before. Her favourite from nearly 80 years ago, when she was 16 years old. She was coming home one day from the beach and a huge bear was taking up the whole road because it was eating some berries.
“It was rough territory, so I wasn’t in the mood for climbing around in the territory,” Stady said.
“So I went over and pushed him and said give me some room because I want to go home and have some supper, too. He just said, ‘Woof,’ moved and went back to eating.”
Stady is an avid baker and cook, often making her own bread, cookies and cakes. Her daughter has now replaced the glass jar the bear knocked over and the sugar is in a new spot in the kitchen.
The bear hasn’t been seen in the past few days and the B.C. Conservation Officers Service has set up a trap nearby. But Stady hopes the black bear never comes back, not for her own safety, but for the safety of the bear.
“I love to bake, I love to cook. I make my own bread and cookies and cakes,” she said.
“I don’t want him to be killed. Once they [have] been in someone’s house they have to kill them, they don’t move them,” Stady added.
“He was a beautiful black bear.”