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Massive Black Bear Shot And Killed After Entering Montana Home

BILLINGS, MONTANA — In the early morning hours, a couple was alerted by their barking dog to an unexpected intruder – a black bear. Thomas Bolkcom and Seeley Oblander, alongside their two dogs, had a rude awakening when they discovered the bear in their living room.

Bolkcom, a 27-year-old commercial painter and elk hunter, found himself face-to-face with the bear. He quickly retrieved a handgun and shot the bear, which had infiltrated their home through a window. Although the bear retreated into another room, Bolkcom shot it several more times, since it had no exit and was obstructing the door.

Reflecting on the shocking incident, Oblander acknowledged that they had never anticipated such an intrusion. Bolkcom’s quick thinking was praised by Oblander, who also kept the dogs safe during the event.

After dragging the bear outside, their fathers and a game warden were summoned to the house. The warden confirmed the bear’s age to be around 10 years, and its weight between 250-300 pounds. The shooting was deemed an act of self-defense.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson, Chrissy Webb, noted that while black bears are common in the area, entering homes is unusual. She suggested the bear had grown accustomed to associating humans with food due to improper storage of attractants in the community. She remarked that this situation led to a tragic end for the bear and a dangerous situation for local residents.

Wildlife can come into our lives and even homes when least expected, and being prepared for such encounters is critical. This 3am wake-up call could have ended much worse had the homeowner not been armed and able to defend himself and everyone inside the home.

Measures to decrease the likelihood of wildlife intermingling with humans include but are not limited to:

  • Keeping trash locked up and inaccessible
  • Not feeding wildlife
  • Keeping a safe distance from wildlife
  • Keeping doors and windows locked

While animals can and do get into locked locations, it does make it more of a challenge for them, and some are likely to give up if it’s taking too much effort.

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