Bear tries to claw its way into Ontario family's house three times

A bear attacked a home in Nobel, Ont., on June 25, ripping siding from the side of the wall near...

A bear attacked a home in Nobel, Ont., on June 25, ripping siding from the side of the wall near the family's living room. (Photo: Terri Welch/Supplied/QMI Agency)

Kate Schwass-Bueckert, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:53 PM ET

A northern Ontario family is still a little shaken after a bear attacked their home, ripping siding and insulation away from the exterior walls.

Terri Welch of Nobel, Ont., located 240 km north of Toronto, said on the first visit May 27, the bear ripped the screen door off.

When it returned June 25, it tore siding and insulation off the side of the house outside the living room.

Welch says they still don't know why the bear acted that way or what it was looking for that night.

"He wanted in our house," Welch said.

During the June attack, Welch was home alone with her children, aged 9, 5 and 2, and they stayed inside. She called a neighbour who helped scare it away. It returned later that night when her husband, Darcy, was home and that's when they had to shoot and kill it.

"We had no choice," Terri Welch said.


See more photos of the bear attack.

She said the Ministry of Natural Resources was unable to help them, only offering suggestions on how to keep bears away.

Welch said the family is used to bears in their backyard, but the animals usually just "hang out and leave."

"Where we live, we know what to do, we know what not to do," she said.

But she is concerned her children are "always going to be scared now. I know I am."

A spokeswoman for the ministry said the province's bear trap and relocate program was discontinued in 2011 because it was the "least-successful" program for dealing with trouble bears.

Instead, the MNR offers tips to homeowners for keeping bears away, such as putting garbage in containers with tight lids, avoiding planting food known to attract bears and removing grease and residue from barbecues.

"If a bear is hanging around, there's obviously something that's keeping it there," said Jolanta Kowalski at the Ministry of Natural Resources.

If there is a public safety hazard, as in this case, homeowners should call the police.

"You do that no matter what or who is breaking into your house," Kowalski said.

Lance Collins, a sales associate at Ramakko's Tackle World in Sudbury, Ont., said pepper spray could have come in handy if the bear stuck its nose in a hole it made in house.

"He's going to remember that and likely not come back."

- with files from Carol Mulligan


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