Friday, August 9, 2013

Bear invades Ketchum kitchen

Chinese stir-fry is the lure


By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer

    A black bear went looking for a late-night snack in a west Ketchum house Monday night.
    David Edwards, who lives at 228 Parkway Dr., off Warm Springs Road, said he was awakened about 3 a.m. by his dog barking. Edwards said he walked toward the kitchen where his Irish setter-Lab mix, Stanley, was still barking aggressively. On the way, he passed his wife, Sara, who was asleep on a couch.
    “I looked into the kitchen and saw this big, furry animal,” Edwards said.
    He realized that it was a bear, on its hind legs with its paws on the stove, licking a cast iron pan that had been used to cook Chinese stir-fry that evening. The bear stood up and looked at him.
    “That was the most shocked I’ve ever been,” he said. “I was surprised that he was even there with the dog barking.”
    Edwards said his first thought was to get his wife away from the kitchen area. However, he said, “I couldn’t tell her there was a bear in the house because she would have just lost her mind. She gets very upset over spiders.”
    But he awakened her and led her into the bedroom, then crept back toward the kitchen. He looked in and saw that the bear was gone. The only sign of his visit was a wide-open kitchen door and a clean pan.
    Edwards said he also noticed that the front gate to the house had been left open. The gate was not far from a recycling bin next to the kitchen door.
    “I think he just kind of followed his nose, and our [back] door is kind of loose, so he just pushed it open,” he said.
    Edwards, a 43-year-old securities trader, said he had once before had a bear in the garage of another Ketchum house and had had garbage cans knocked over, apparently by bears.
    Robin Garwood, wildlife biologist with the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, said bears typically get motivated to search for human-provided food as their natural plant food declines. She said bears normally gorge themselves in late summer on currants, gooseberries, chokecherries and buffalo berries, but the crop is less abundant during a drought year like this one.
    Edwards said he credits his dog for waking him up to scare the bear off before it got farther into the house.
    “He’s the hero—he saved the day,” Edwards said. “If it weren’t for Stanley, who knows what would have happened.”




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